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Bed Sores In Nursing Homes


Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys – Bed Sores

Bedsores, also known as pressure sores or decubitus ulcers, are painful wounds that develop when there is continuous pressure on an area of skin. This pressure can occur when a person is lying in bed for an extended time or sitting in a chair for extended periods.

Bedsores most often form on bony areas of the body, such as the heels, ankles, hips, and tailbone.

Bedsores are a serious health problem, particularly for older adults and people with disabilities who are unable to move on their own. Left untreated, bedsores can lead to infection and even death.

There are four stages of bedsores, each with its own set of symptoms:

  • Stage 1: Red, irritated skin with no open wounds
  • Stage 2: Blister or abrasion-like open wound that might be painful
  • Stage 3: Deeper wound, extending into the tissue below the skin that might have crusting or pus
  • Stage 4: Deepest stage of bedsores, extends into the muscle and bone, which is very painful and potentially infected

Treatment for bedsores depends on the stage of the sore. In most cases, early treatment can prevent bedsores from progressing to a more serious stage.

Stage 1 and 2 bedsores are treatable with self-care measures, when possible. This includes keeping the area clean and dry, applying pressure-relieving creams or ointments, and changing positions frequently.

Stage 3 and 4 bedsores require more aggressive treatment, including antibiotics to treat infection and surgery to remove dead tissue.

Prevention is the best way to avoid bedsores.

To help prevent bedsores, nursing home staff must make sure residents are clean and dry, especially if they are incontinent. Their positions should be changed often, at least every two hours for those who are bed-bound. They can also use a pressure-relieving mattress or cushion.

Why are Bedsores an Issue in Nursing Homes?

Bedsores occur when the skin and underlying tissue are compressed for an extended period, causing the blood flow to be cut off. This can happen even without extreme pressure. Staying in one position for too long can cause bedsores to develop. Nursing home neglect is a common cause of bedsores.

Several factors increase a person’s risk of developing bedsores, including:

  • Aging: Older adults are more likely to develop bedsores because their skin is thinner and less elastic
  • Poor nutrition: Malnourished people are more likely to develop bedsores because their skin is weaker and healing is slower.
  • Inactivity: People who are confined to a bed or wheelchair are at increased risk because they are not able to move around and shift their weight.
  • Incontinence: Incontinent people have an increased risk because they may have wet or soiled skin, which makes the skin more susceptible to breakdown.
  • Peripheral vascular disease: This condition causes the narrowing of the blood vessels, which can decrease circulation and make it more difficult for wounds to heal.
  • Diabetes: People with diabetes are at increased risk because they experience decreased circulation and sensation in their feet and legs. This makes it difficult to recognize bedsores forming. This is because when residents do not receive the proper care, they are more likely to develop bedsores.

All of these issues are concerns for elderly people in nursing homes. This is why it is so important for nursing home staff to carefully monitor residents and help them move frequently, even if they require assistance to do so. Bedsores can be very painful and can lead to serious health problems. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, it is important to make sure that they are receiving the proper care. If you suspect that they are not, you should contact an attorney who can help you.

If your loved one has developed bedsores that you believe are linked to nursing home neglect, we can help. Contact the Nursing Home Attorneys at (866) 251-0808 to discuss your situation.


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