Pressure sores (a.k.a. bedsores or pressure ulcers) are wounds caused by a lack of blood flow to skin that is under constant pressure, typically in contact with a bed or wheelchair. Underlying tissue dies, breaks apart, and results in an open wound. In advanced stages, pressure sores may expose muscle, tendons, and bone. Skin over bony-protrusion areas such as elbows, heels, the pelvis, or shoulder blades is most vulnerable.
What Are Pressure Sores?
Untreated or improperly treated pressure sores open the floodgates to bacteria, which can result in infection, sepsis, and sometimes death. If a person can walk and easily shift position, pressure sores rarely occur. However, those who are bedridden or immobile may need assistance to avoid them. This describes quite a few nursing home residents.
The good news is that pressure sores, with few exceptions, are preventable. Repositioning bedridden or immobile residents every two hours, inspecting high-risk areas on a regular basis, incorporating a good hygiene and skin-care regimen, and ensuring a healthy diet and proper hydration should do the trick.
If nursing home residents were free of pressure sores upon admittance to a facility, pressure sores should not occur while they are there. If they do, it’s a strong indicator of nursing home neglect.
Many nursing homes are guilty of understaffing, overworking their employees, and failing to properly train their staff — all in a bid to cut costs. Residents frequently pay the price.
Families have every right to expect that a family member will receive good care at a nursing home. If your loved one develops pressure sores, contact a nursing home attorney for guidance on the matter.
An Experienced Nursing Home Attorney Can Help