Pressure Ulcers (Bed Sores) in Nursing Home Patients
Bed sores are among the most common symptoms of nursing home abuse and neglect. Just as importantly, their presence often signals more severe forms of misconduct within the care facility.
Bed Sores May Arise from Negligent Conditions
According to the CDC, 1 in 10 patients in nursing homes develop pressure ulcers. The ulcers, also known as bed sores, pressure sores, or decubitus ulcers, arise as a result of unrelenting pressure on a person’s skin. If bed sores are allowed to occur and fester, they can be extremely painful and pose health risks.
Bed sores are preventable. They only develop if an individual spends an extended amount of time in just one position. Typically, bed sores afflict patients who are bedridden, thus the name. However, pressure ulcers can and do occur in patients who are left in a seated position or are in a wheelchair for an extraordinary length of time. To prevent the ulcers, caregivers must encourage or help patients to shift position every few hours or so. A simple enough procedure, physical movement is often neglected by caregivers who need to be present to help disabled patients.
Some basic caregiving techniques to prevent bed sores include:
- Regularly repositioning, rotating, or relocating nursing home patients
- Monitoring patients at high risk for lesions, including those who have recently experienced significant weight loss
- Helping patients to lie or sit at angles that reduce stress on vulnerable areas
- Providing pillows or foam padding that relieves pressure
- Making sure bedding and clothes are dry
Pennsylvania & New Jersey Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Nursing homes throughout Pennsylvania & New Jersey have a mandate to provide a reasonable standard of care to residents under their supervision. Pressure ulcers are avoidable, and often indicate caregivers are neglecting those under their care. When a nursing home or care facility fails to uphold their mandated standard of care, including failing to prevent bed sores, that facility may be liable for damages.
No matter how vigilant we are, we cannot watch our loved ones all the time. For those with an elder who has suffered neglect or abuse while under the care of a nursing home or assisted living facility, please contact us immediately to protect your legal rights. You can reach our team of elder abuse attorneys toll-free at 1-855-462-3330 or by using our online contact form.