Many chronic and acute medical conditions require lengthy hospital stays. There are certain measures that hospital staff must take to protect the health of patients who are admitted for prolonged periods, and if they do not, it can lead to painful injuries. For example, long-term hospital patients are at risk for developing bedsores. In most instances, bedsores are avoidable and arise out of neglect. As such, people who sustain bedsores can often recover damages from their providers. If you were hurt due to the negligence of a doctor or nurse, it is advisable to meet with an attorney to evaluate your potential claims. The skillful Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are proficient at helping people injured by careless healthcare providers recover damages, and if you hire us, we will develop a persuasive case designed to provide you with a strong chance of favorable results.Factors that Lead to Bedsores
Decubitus ulcers, commonly referred to as bedsores or pressure ulcers, occur due to extended pressure on the body. They usually occur in areas where there is not much tissue between the bone and skin, such as the tailbone, hips, heels, and shoulders. Bedsores generally develop in patients who are in a hospital or care facility for an extended time. Healthcare providers must make sure that their patients' skin is clean and dry and reposition them regularly to avoid bedsores from arising. Bedsores can range from superficial wounds, where the sore breaks the skin and forms a blister, to severe, where the skin and surrounding tissues have completely degraded, exposing the underlying bone or muscle. Bedsores are not only painful, they can also lead to infections, cellulitis, and sepsis.Elements of a Medical Malpractice Case Arising out of Bedsores
Bedsores often arise from a healthcare provider's failure to provide competent care and may constitute grounds for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. As most harm caused by doctors and nurses is unintentional, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case will usually assert a negligence claim. In Maryland, negligence is comprised of four elements: a duty, a breach, causation, and damages, and a plaintiff must prove each element to recover damages.
Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers owe their patients a duty to provide care that meets the relevant standard. The standard that applies is based on what a rational professional working in the same specialty would provide in a similar situation. A breach arises when the defendant deviates from this standard. In other words, if a competent doctor would ensure that a plan of care was in place to prevent a patient from developing bedsores and the defendant failed to do so, it may be considered a breach of the standard of care.
Establishing causation requires a plaintiff to show that the defendant's breach directly led to the plaintiff suffering harm. In other words, that the plaintiff would not have developed bedsores if the defendant complied with the standard of care. In most cases, a plaintiff will have to retain a medical expert who works in the same field as the defendant to explain what the standard of care requires and how the defendant failed to abide by the standard. Expert testimony is also usually needed to link the defendant's behavior to the harm suffered. Finally, the plaintiff must show that he or she suffered compensable losses, like the cost of medical care, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.Confer with a Seasoned Baltimore Attorney
Generally, people who require long-term stays in the hospital require attentive care, and if doctors disregard their obligations to protect their health, it can lead to bedsores and other complications. If you or a loved one sustained harm during hospitalization, you might be owed damages, and you should confer with an attorney. The seasoned Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group can advise you for your rights and help you seek the full amount of compensation recoverable under the law. We regularly represent people in medical malpractice cases in Baltimore, where our office is located. You can reach us by calling (410) 889-1850 or using our form online to set up a meeting.