Oregon Stage 4 Pressure Ulcers from Medical Malpractice

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Understanding Liability from Oregon Stage 4 Pressure Ulcers in Nursing Homes and Hospitals


Oftentimes, a stage 4 bedsore or pressure ulcer is a result of medical malpractice. This is particularly true in nursing homes.  While patients who are bedridden have the potential to develop pressure ulcers, these patients are supposed to be turned and positioned on a schedule to prevent pressure ulcers from forming. When this does not occur, a pressure ulcer can develop. The longer that a pressure sore is not treated, the longer more likely that it can fester and get a worse stage.  While it is never a good thing to have a pressure ulcer of any stage, a stage 4 pressure ulcer is the worst type of pressure ulcer and should never occur. This is because if a provider does identify a pressure ulcer at an early stage, they can treat the patient and create a more intense turn and positioning schedule. Oregon stage 4 pressure ulcers from malpractice malpractice can cause serious personal injuries or the wrongful death of an innocent person.


No one should suffer from a pressure ulcer, especially a nursing home resident.  Our Oregon pressure ulcer lawyers understand just how serious and avoidable stage 4 pressure ulcers can be, and are prepared to review your case for FREE to determine if medical malpractice played a part in you or your loved one’s stage 4 pressure ulcers.  Anytime there is any type of bed sore or pressure sore, it is important for a victim and his or her family to contact a medical malpractice lawyer.  This includes whenever a pressure sore is caused in the following facilities:


  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Outpatient centers
  • Urgent cares
  • Assisted living facilities 
  • Drug treatment facilities 
  • Adult care facilities
  • Adult homes, and
  • Any other types of healthcare facilities in Portland, Bend, Deschutes County, or anywhere else in Oregon.


How Do Pressure Ulcers Develop?


Pressure ulcers often develop as a result of a lack of movement. Oregon stage 4 pressure ulcers are caused by a significant amount of lack of movement or other aggravating factors.  This occurs because pressure from the individual is applied to a particular area of skin. The pressure then disrupts the blood flow to the tissue, creating an ulcer. The pressure of the bedsprings or the friction from a bed, wheelchair, or other resting device can also break down skin and result in a pressure sore or pressure ulcer.  


Oftentimes, pressure ulcers are identified at an earlier stage. This is because providers and nurses are supposed to be conducting skin assessments on patients who are bedridden due to the fact that they are at a higher risk for pressure ulcers. Additionally, bedridden patients are supposed to be turned and positioned on a regular schedule (i.e. every 1-2 hours). Additionally, bedridden patients who are incontinent can be at higher risk to develop these pressure ulcers due to skin coming in contact with urine and feces. 


These are just some of the factors that can increase the risk of Oregon stage 4 pressure ulcers.  But the largest risk is a negligent medical staff that is careless, reckless, and wanton in their care and treatment of residents or patients.


Complications of Pressure Ulcers


When a pressure ulcer develops, serious complications for the patient can occur. Complications include:


  • Infection
  • Cellulitis
  • Bone or joint infection
  • Gangrene
  • Necrotizing Fasciitis 
  • Mobility complications
  • Prolonged hospitalization, and
  • Wrongful Death.


Any other injury related to a pressure sore could also be compensable under Oregon law.  This includes the loss of bone, muscle, tendon, or other tissue due to a pressure sore that goes out of control.


Who is at Risk for Pressure Ulcers?


Patients with the following are more at risk to develop pressure ulcers:


  • Patients with urinary or fecal incontinence 
  • Older age
  • Poorer nutritional status
  • Impaired mobility 
  • Low body mass index or very high body mass index
  • Altered mental status
  • Use of restraints


These are just a few of the many known risk factors. However, while patients can present with these risk factors, they should never be used as excuses as to why a pressure ulcer occurs. It is also important to not that patients with no risk factors can develop pressure ulcers. 


How Can Pressure Ulcers be Prevented?


Pressure ulcers can be prevented with the following:


  • Proper skin care
  • Turning and positioning
  • Pressure reducing devices
  • Frequent skin assessments, and
  • Use of the Braden scale to identify patients who are at higher risk of developing pressure ulcers.


How are Pressure Ulcers Treated?


Treatment for pressure ulcers can be lengthy and complex, especially if a health care provider allows the pressure ulcer to progress to a later stage (i.e. stage 4). Treatment for a pressure ulcer can include the following:


  • Turning and positioning
  • Use of support surfaces
  • Cleaning and dressing the wound
  • Removal of damaged tissue (debridement)
  • Medications to control pain
  • Dietary changes to help promote wound healing
  • Surgery 
  • Use of vacuum-assisted closure device (wound vac) to aid in wound closure, and
  • Other procedures are medically necessary or indicated.


How Can Oregon Stage 4 Pressure Ulcers Be Caused By Medical Malpractice?


Pressure ulcers are generally the result of medical malpractice as they can be completely preventable. Pressure ulcers that are stage 4 are entirely preventable as early stage pressure ulcers should be treated immediately to prevent them from developing to a greater stage (i.e. 4). While pressure ulcers of any stage are dangerous to the patient’s health, stage 4 pressure ulcers are incredibly dangerous and pose many risks to the patient, including death. Patients with stage 4 pressure ulcers often face prolonged hospitalization, wound vacs to try to get the wound to close, long term antibiotic use and many painful and uncomfortable dressing changes. 


As stated above, there are many prevention tools to prevent pressure ulcers from developing. The Braden scale should be used upon admission to identify patients who may be high risk so proper measures can be put in place. Routine use of this grading system can prevent pressure ulcers from occurring. Additionally as stated there are many measures including proper skin care, turning and positioning, use of pressure reducing devices and frequent skin assessments can prevent pressure ulcers from forming. Any patient who has developed a pressure ulcer, especially at stage 4 should contact our experienced Oregon pressure ulcer attorneys today to review your case to ensure you receive the full compensation you deserve. 


How Can Our Oregon Pressure Ulcer Medical Malpractice Lawyers Help You?


Our Oregon lawyers understand just how serious and dangerous pressure ulcers can be to your health. Patients with pressure ulcers, especially stage 4 face many complications. Patients should never have to deal with a stage 4 pressure ulcer. This is because, as stated above there are many tools to prevent pressure ulcers from forming in the first place. If you or your loved one faced a pressure ulcer diagnosis, especially one that required extensive treatment, you may be eligible for compensation. Compensation for this type of injury typically includes:


  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Past, present and future medical bills
  • Hospital stay coverage
  • Rehabilitation coverage
  • Home nursing coverage
  • Physical therapy coverage
  • Occupational therapy coverage
  • Lost wages
  • Lost future wages


These are just a few of the many indications of compensation. You and your loved ones deserve to receive compensation to the fullest extent due to the complete negligence of your healthcare providers. 


Always Ask for a FREE Case Review After a Pressure Ulcer in Oregon


If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.


Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.


We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.

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