Bed sores in nursing homes are usually preventable

Bedsores, also called pressure sores or decubitus ulcers, frequently occur in nursing homes and hospitals as a result of nursing negligence. These painful and potentially life-threatening wounds involve damage to the skin and underlying tissue due to prolonged pressure.  In many cases, bedsores result from a combination of substandard medical care, poor nutrition and failure to re-position the person at standard intervals.

Bedsores are often avoidable and proper turning, bathing and hygiene can prevent unnecessary pain and suffering.  Lack of movement due to a medical condition or age and improper hygiene are major factors in developing bedsores.  These sores are caused by lack of blood flow to the skin.  If a patient is not re-positioned often and properly, the sores develop.  Oftentimes, further underlying infections can result.

Nursing staff should move the patient at least every two hours.  Staff should change their bedding and clothing if they are wet.  Special pillows, foam pads and air mattresses can be used to reduce the risk as well. Proper nutrition and hydration are also necessary to prevent skin breakdown and promote healing once skin breakdown has occurred.

If you notice a bed sore on a family member, you should notify the nursing staff immediately.  When bedsores go untreated, patients’ conditions can deteriorate rapidly.  If possible, document the bedsore by taking a picture and document who you have notified about the bedsore.

If your loved one developed a bedsore at a nursing home, assisted living facility or hospital, call us for a free consultation: 304-342-0512.

Categories: Medical Malpractice, Nursing Home Abuse, Personal Injury