Nursing Home Abuse: Bed Sores

Bed sores, or pressure sores, are common health issues that elderly people in nursing homes may suffer from due to inadequate medical care and neglect. Unfortunately, bed sores can have a serious impact on physical and mental health. These ulcers can also lead to a financial burden on both families and healthcare providers as necessary treatment can be costly.


What Are Bed Sores?

Bed sores, also known as pressure ulcers, are a potentially serious health issue for bedridden or otherwise immobile individuals. They appear when the skin and underlying tissue become damaged from being pressed against a hard surface for too long. As the name implies, they can form anywhere on the body that is in contact with a mattress or chair, most commonly on areas that don’t get enough air circulation: elbows and ankles, for example.

Caregivers should be vigilant about checking immobile patients’ skin regularly to make sure bed sores do not form; if found quickly and treated with medicated dressings and careful cleaning, their development can usually be stopped. It is important to note that even simple tasks, such as moving a patient into different resting positions regularly, can have huge benefits in terms of prevention when it comes to bed sores.

What Causes Bed Sores?

Bed sores occur when parts of the skin and underlying tissue are deprived of oxygen, nutrients, and circulation for an extended period of time.

One of the main causes is immobility. When someone is bedridden or otherwise unable to change positions on their own and has very little exercise or help from a caretaker in adjusting their body position, excessive pressure builds up on certain areas like tailbones, hip bones, and heels.

Poor nutrition between meals can lead to dehydration, which further lessens the skin’s durability. In some cases, external sensations can be blunted or absent due to injury/aging and therefore, people may sit in the same spot even longer than expected, unaware that they are injuring themselves.

If preventive care isn’t taken in terms of pressure relief mattresses or cushions to shift the weight off any specific area, the damage can develop quickly and into more serious forms, such as infected tissue.

How Can Bed Sores Be Prevented?

To prevent bed sores from occurring, it is important to shift positioning frequently. Regularly adjusting the angle of the body and using pillows to adjust posture are effective steps towards prevention. Alternating between mattresses or special cushioning that redistributes pressure is also recommended. Additionally, keeping the skin clean and moisturized protects against bed sores by reducing friction when moved in bed. With attention to these simple practices, individuals can help protect their skin while spending extended time in bed.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Bed Sores?

Symptoms of bed sores include reddening or discoloration of the skin, blisters and open wounds, as well as tender spots that can form into deeper tissue damage if not attended to. Pain typically increases with movement around the affected area and if infection takes hold, there can be swelling and odor production.

Sadly, if left untreated for a long period of time these wounds can become extremely serious and lead to medical complications such as infection and tissue death. It is paramount that anyone with at risk skin immediately be repositioned in order to reduce the risks associated with these dangerous injuries.

How Are Bed Sores Treated?

Treating bed sores can be difficult and dangerous if not done properly. Many creams and gels exist that, applied directly to the sore, can significantly reduce the discomfort and help it heal more quickly. It is important that these applications are done several times a day as instructed by a healthcare professional in order to properly manage the wound.

If an infection occurs, antibiotics may be necessary in order to reduce the risk of further harm. In serious cases of bed sores, surgical debridement may be required in order to promote proper healing and prevent additional damage to underlying tissues. Treating bed sores requires a delicate balance between providing relief while also protecting the affected areas from further harm.

How Can Bed Sores Be Prevented In Nursing Home Residents?

Bed sores can cause immense discomfort for nursing home residents. If left unattended, they can even lead to severe infections that may claim lives. It is, therefore, essential that bedsores are prevented in the first place.

The most effective way to do this is by routinely turning and repositioning residents every two hours or so, while adhering to a strict skincare schedule throughout the day. This helps ensure that all parts of the body are receiving adequate blood circulation and contact with oxygen, thus lessening their likelihood of developing these painful sores.

Maintaining a clean and dry sleeping area is essential. Mattresses should be changed regularly and kept dry by using absorbent incontinence products if needed; pillows should also be fluffed during regular checks so as to keep them from flattening out against vulnerable parts of the skin. All of these strategies can help reduce the onset and prevalence of bed sores among nursing home residents.

What Are The Federal Regulations Regarding Bed Sores In Nursing Homes?

Nursing homes must adhere to a set of federal regulations aimed at preventing the development and progression of bed sores in order to ensure resident safety and well-being. These regulations require nursing homes to perform skin assessments on their residents, offer pressure relief while transferring or positioning them, provide consistent quality care tailored to each individual’s needs, and practice proactive skin care strategies such as maintaining proper nutrition.
When bed sores do develop, nursing homes are legally obligated to develop a plan of action that includes preventative methods focused on healing and reducing further damage. The US Department of Health and Human Services regularly reviews nursing homes to ensure these regulations are being met. Failing to meet these standards places the facility at risk for legal action. If you have witnessed issues regarding a loved one or somebody you know that have developed bed sores due to nursing home negligence, contact our nursing home abuse attorneys at Breit Biniazan.

What Are The Consequences Of Nursing Home Staff Members Failing To Prevent Or Treat Bed Sores?

For nurses, there is a heightened sense of responsibility to take proper care of those in their charge. A failure to prevent or treat bed sores could result in the implementation of disciplinary measures such as suspensions or termination, as well as fines and even legal action taken against them for negligence.

Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

If you have experienced bed sores in nursing home, seeking out legal advice is an important action to take in order to ensure you are adequately and fairly compensated. Doing so can greatly reduce stress for both you and your loved ones due to the abuse.

At Breit Biniazan, our team of specialized lawyers will assess the situation

and make sure you understand all of your options and the procedures related to recovering compensation from the party responsible for the damage. By getting expert guidance from a legal professional, you will be able to get financial support quickly and easily. Contact Breit Biniazan personal injury lawyers for a consultation.

The lawyers of Breit Biniazan are known for their fierce representation, and we won’t rest until you win fair compensation for your Head-on collision personal injury case. 

Call Breit Biniazan at (855) 212-8200 for a free, confidential case evaluation today.

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