Bedsores are a Tell Tale sign of Nursing Home Neglect
Bedsores, also known as pressure sores, are common amongst the elderly nursing home population. Bedsores are painful ulcers that frequently appear in areas such as hips, back, elbows, ankles and heels. In addition to being extremely painful, bedsores can lead to infection and, in severe cases, can be fatal.
Bedsores are a sign of nursing home neglect as they can be prevented by proper care and attention from medical personnel. If your loved one is in a nursing home and suffering pain from the presence of bedsores, it is imperative that you reach out to an attorney immediately for help.
What causes Bedsores?
Bedsores are caused by placing too much pressure for a long period of time on an area of the body in which there is a think layer of skin near a bone. The skin then compresses, limiting the flow of blood, which causes the underlying tissue to open up. Bedsores are caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Immobility – Elderly residents are often bedridden or confined to a wheelchair. This creates an ideal environment for bedsores to develop, as bedsores are caused by unrelieved prolonged pressure.
- Bedwetting – The inability to control unwanted passage of urine or stool is a common problem amongst the elderly population. However, bedwetting and diapers allow moisture buildup which contributes to bedsores.
- Nutrition – Many elderly patients do not get all of the calories, protein, vitamins and minerals in their daily diet which directly contributes to bedsores.
Stages of Bedsores
Early detection and proper treatment of bedsores is necessary as bedsores will become worse overtime. It has been reported that there are 4 stages of bedsores.
- Stage 1: In its initial stage a bedsore appears as a red, blue,or purple mark or the skin. The affected area gives off heat and is noticeably warmer when touched.
- Stage 2: In the second stage, bedsores begin to open and appear as a skin abrasion or blister. During the second stage, the individual will begin to feel pain as opposed to mere discomfort.
- Stage 3: Stage 3 bedsores are open wounds. Individuals describe stage 3 bedsores as having a crater like appearance.
- Stage 4: The final stage of a bedsore are the most severe. It appears as a large wound, making the individual affected susceptible to infection.
Proper care and attention is crucial to ensuring that residents of nursing home facilities do not develop bedsores. While the health conditions of most patients in nursing homes cannot be changed (such as immobility and the inability to hold the sudden urge to urinate), nursing home staff can prevent bedsores and ensure that they do not subject residents to additional illnesses.
One way to prevent bedsores is to frequently reposition residents that are bedridden or confined to a wheelchair. Doctors suggest that bedridden patients should be repositioned every two hours. Individuals confined to a wheelchair should be repositioned every 15 minutes. Seat cushions and pillows also help soften the pressure experienced. In addition, patients should be checked often to see if they have soiled the bed or their incontinence products. If so, they should immediately be changed and cleaned to prevent bedsores.
If a patient has bedsores proper treatment is necessary to ensure that their condition does not worsen. If your loved one has bedsores, contact an attorney today to obtain assistance in getting your loved one some relief. An attorney at Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. in Port St. Lucie can help you deal with negligent nursing care providers to ensure that your loved one is getting the care they deserve.