The human body may look better without them, but most people seem to get them at one time or another. They are the cuts and bruises of daily living, those more-or-less painful and usually accident-inflicted wounds to the human skin. Most cuts and bruises are not dangerous. However, the human skin does have a very serious purpose; it is our barrier against infection. When that barrier is broken or invaded, in come germs to attack the tissue that is beneath. When tissues are attacked, such as with a cut, trouble can start in many ways, such as in the form of sepsis, also called blood poisoning. That can send infection throughout the body via the bloodstream, causing problems such as fever and, if left untreated, possibly death.

Serious bruises, which can be large, very red and black, and lumpy-looking, cause people to fear that a blood clot lies below the skin. That usually, however, isn’t the case with a bruise. The clotting that happens with a bruise is usually outside of the blood vessels. The blood clot that people fear is inside a vein, called a DVT, deep-vein thrombosis. A DVT is very serious and can be deadly. If your arm or leg in the bruised area is very painful and very swollen, see a doctor. For a less serious bruise, use R-I-C-E. That means: Rest; Ice in the form of a bag 10 minutes on, 10 off; Compression in the form of an elastic bandage but not too tight; and E, which means to elevate the wound at heart level or above.

Nursing Home Abuse

Cuts and bruises can happen just about anywhere and that includes hospitals and nursing homes. When people are elderly, ill, and/or not able to function completely on their own, cuts and bruises may happen. However, if you discover a cut or bruise on a friend or loved one in a nursing home, you should ask the staff for an explanation, especially if a cut or bruise seems to be a common occurrence. It is all too easy just to say that an elderly person fell. Abuse in nursing homes also can be in the form of bedsores and fractures, which may be the result when patients are not treated properly or are just neglected. Nursing home patients, because of age and physical problems, are often quiet about being victims of physical and/or mental abuse. Sometimes they are afraid of retribution by the staff; sometimes they may feel hopeless about their situation.

Medical Mistakes and Malpractice

Despite the high qualify of care in most medical facilities around the country, people suffer injury and even death due to medical mistakes and malpractice. These injuries may be due to such things as negligent care, unsanitary conditions, mistakes in surgery, or medication errors. Not all less-than-perfect medical outcomes, however, are the result of medical mistakes or negligence. If you feel that your condition may be due to unsatisfactory medical advice or procedures, you should question the doctor or other medical personnel. Find out if the symptoms you experience are common among patients recovering from the same kind of treatment. Also, ask the doctor or hospital official to explain any unusual symptoms or problems that are troubling you.

Cuts and bruises may be part of day-to-day living, but medical mistakes and malpractice shouldn’t be. Be alert to what is happening around you, to you, and to those you love. Ask questions that can help you to lead a happier, healthier life.

Call for a Free Consultation With a Maryland Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us online or call 301-627-8700 for a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

From our offices in Upper Marlboro and Annapolis, we represent injured people throughout Prince George’s County, Anne Arundel County, southern Maryland and the Baltimore metropolitan area. If you cannot come to us, we can arrange to meet you in Maryland or Virginia.