• Are Bed Sores Always a Sign of Nursing Home Negligence?

    Bed SoresBed sores are also known as pressure ulcers. They happen when the skin and the tissue underneath the skin break down as a result of pressure that comes from lying in the same position for a prolonged period of time. Pressure ulcers are a risk factor for anybody whose mobility is limited, including those who are restricted to wheelchairs and those who spend most of their time in their bed. Because they develop extremely quickly and are notoriously difficult to treat, it is essential that those responsible for the care of nursing home residents are vigilant about the possibility of them appearing. Failure to take immediate action to both prevent them and to treat them once they do appear represents nursing home neglect, as an untreated bed sore can lead to significant complications and even death.

    Bed sores are a particular risk for older individuals whose skin is thin. It is also a risk factor for people who suffer from diabetes. If your loved one is a nursing home resident who is diagnosed with bed sores, it is important to determine whether the sores were an inevitability of their overall condition or whether they could have been prevented with proper care and attention. Signs of nursing home neglect include malnutrition and dehydration, both of which cause skin to break down; weight loss that leads to a loss of the fat and muscle that support the skin; failure to properly address or follow up on a patient’s incontinence, as urine and fecal matter can lead to skin moisture that leads to and exacerbates ulcers; and most importantly, inattention to posture and repositioning. Patients who are immobile need constant repositioning in order to keep any one area of their body from being subjected to pressure for too long a period of time.

    If any of these other factors are in evidence, there is a good reason to believe that your loved one has been a victim of nursing home neglect and you need to take immediate steps to protect them against additional harm. These steps should include:

    • Immediately addressing the medical staff to create an action plan for the treatment of the bed sores and their prevention in the future
    • Addressing the issues of malnutrition and dehydration, repositioning and frequent changing of undergarments or clothing

    If you do not feel that your loved one is getting the attention that they deserve, contact us today to speak with a nursing home neglect attorney to learn more about your loved one’s rights.

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