Bed Sores and Nursing Home Abuse

Lowenthal and Abrams, P.C. Profile Image

Practice Areas: Auto Accident, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury, SSDI, Workers Compensation, Wrongful Death

What are Bed Sores, How do  they Form?

Bed sores, otherwise known as pressure ulcers are a serious form of nursing home abuse. If nursing home staff pay appropriate attention and mange the care of patients, these terrible wounds do not need to happen.

Four Stages

Pressure ulcers occur in four stages.

  1. Stage one - redness on the skin. This is a minor sore that can be painful. If left untreated it will go on to the next stage.
  2. Stage two - this is when the sore becomes an open wound. Skin is damaged and lost. Sometimes, instead of being an open wound, the ulcer appears as a blister.
  3. Stage three - this is an extremely serious wound. It has become deep and may have tunneled into the body. A lot of skin is lost.
  4. Stage four - these wounds can be deadly. There is a lot of dead skin and tissue. Infection might set in.

Preventing Pressure Ulcers

With the proper care and attention, bed sores can be prevented. The nursing home needs to properly assess the patient for risk when she first comes into the home. In addition, the patient must be continuously assessed for increased risk. When a patient shows increased risk for a sore, proper steps must be taken tro prevent them from occurring.

Those steps include:

  1. Proper nutrition and hydration
  2. Appropriate hygiene
  3. Making sure the resident doesn't stay in the same position for long periods of time
  4. Assistive devices such as special beds that decrease the risk of sores
  5. Proper monitoring and care if there should be any signs of a stage one sore

Why are Bed Sores Considered Abuse?

Due to the ease of prevention, bed sores are always considerd negligence. Serious bed sores give rise to law suits. Your loved ones should never suffer from these manageable wounds when living in a long term care facility.

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