If nursing duties such as turning a patient, proper bathing and hygiene are not followed, bed sores can develop, causing unnecessary pain and suffering. Untreated bedsores can result in sepsis and wrongful death. There is no excuse for allowing bedsore to develop inside a facility other than patient neglect. If you notice any pressure sores on your family member, you should notify the doctor and the head nurse immediately. Document the nursing home bedsore with pictures. Create a list of the nurses and doctors you have spoken with about the wound. If your loved one develops bed sores inside a hospital, assisted living, or nursing home, you should seek legal advice. Medical facilities should be held responsible for these horrendous and preventable wounds. The law provides for an avenue of recovery through the civil justice system. This is called a bedsore neglect lawsuit, and this claim can be filed against the negligent nursing home or hospital where bedsore developed.
How Do Bedsores Form in Nursing Homes?
Lack of movement due to age or medical condition and improper hygiene are significant factors in developing bedsores. Pressure sores result from restricted blood flow in a particular area, usually heels, buttocks, back, and head. If the patient is not repositioned by nurses often, and properly, the sores or ulcers develop. After bedsore has developed, the medical condition of the patient and poor hygiene can hinder the healing process. If a patient is left in their urine in clothing or a bed, further underlying infections can result. The deteriorating skin can be permanently damaged. Regular movement of patients at scheduled times, at least every two hours, and properly checking to make sure that their clothing and bedding are dry are the responsibility of the nursing home or hospital. If the facility is doing an adequate job of hiring and training personnel, these routine patient care techniques should be in place. Special pillows, cushions, air mattresses, and other items can be used to reduce pressure on the skin and should be used regularly for non-mobile patients.
Bedsores, Pressure Sores and Decubitus Ulcers
Bedsores also called pressure sores or decubitus ulcers, frequently occur in nursing homes and hospitals as a result of nursing negligence. are the most common injury claim we handle at Senior Justice Law Firm, and our lawyers have represented over 1,000 bedsore victims over the years. Bedsores are not an acceptable part of a hospitalization or nursing home residency. These pressure ulcers are largely preventable, and stage 3 or 4 pressure ulcers have been determined to be a “never event” by our Federal government (meaning they should never occur in healthcare). If your loved one developed bedsore inside a nursing home, assisted living facility, or hospital, call us now toll-free at 1-888-375-9998 to speak with one of our bedsore lawyers about your legal options.
Preventing Bedsores in Nursing Homes
Preventing pressure sores in nursing homes and hospitals is a relatively straightforward task. If a nurse is on top of providing the required care to the patient, bedsore will not form. Unfortunately, nursing homes often fail to reposition immobile individuals every 2 hours, fail to place cream on existing small pressure sores properly, and fail to give proper nutrition intervention to those at risk. This allows bedsores to form. Here is a quick checklist that can be used to prevent bedsores in nursing homes, hospitals, and assisted living facilities:
Reposition the patient at least every two hours in bed and every 15 minutes in a wheelchair
Place special creams on bedsore to help the wound heal and stay clean
Utilize a special air loss mattress to offload pressure of the affected area
Use a wound vac on existing pressure ulcers
If the wound is severe enough, plastic surgery can be performed to close off the wound and prevent further infection and deterioration
Pressure injury prevention is the responsibility of the facility. As a layperson, knowledge is power. The best thing to do is to equip yourself with the knowledge about bedsore prevention and communicate with the facility management so that they provide the appropriate standard of care to you or your family member. Remember, proper care is their responsibility, not yours.
Attorney Michael Brevda is the managing partner of Senior Justice Law Firm. Senior Justice Law Firm specializes in handling nursing home negligence cases across the United States.