Current Category: Prevention

Johns Hopkins Study Gives Skin Care Tips for Preventing Bed Sores

According to a recent study from Johns Hopkins University, a daily skin care regimen might be an elderly patient’s best weapon in warding off bed sores.
Among the study’s findings, which were published on Johns Hopkins’ Web site, www.johnshopkinsmedicine.com,… Johns Hopkins recommends the following preventative steps:
-  Inspect all

read more »

Study Gives Suggestions for Treating and Preventing Bed Sores

A study from the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine provides a far-ranging and extensive overview for treating and preventing bed sores (pressure ulcers) in elderly patients.
Among the key points of the study:
- 95 percent of pressure ulcers occur in the lower part of the body….
- The

read more »

Bed Sore Prevention: Staff Must Turn & Reposition Bed-Ridden Patients At Regular Intervals

The underlying mechanics behind the development of bed sores (also called: pressure sores, pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers) is relatively simple– unrelieved pressure on the body results in restricted blood circulation and consequential lack of nutrients and oxygen to skin and tissue.  When pressure goes unrelieved for extended periods of…

read more »

Will Music Sound The Farewell Tune To Bedsores Acquired At Nursing Homes?

Bedsores are truly a horrific condition impacting nursing home patients in all demographics.  As a lawyer on the front lines of these cases, I am continually dumbfounded by the lack of basic precautions in place at many facilities to prevent these potentially deadly wounds from developing in the first place.

read more »

Who Said Nursing Care Was Easy? The Prevention Of Bed Sores Requires Staff To Turn & Reposition Patients On A Reqular Basis

The underlying mechanics behind the development of bed sores (also called: pressure sores, pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers) is relatively simple– unrelieved pressure on the body results in restricted blood circulation and consequential lack of nutrients and oxygen to skin and tissue.
When pressure goes unrelieved for extended periods of…

read more »

What can hospitals do to reduce the rate of bed sores in their facilities?

In order for hospitals to reduce the rate of bed sores (also commonly referred to as: pressure ulcers, pressure sores or decubitus ulcers), the facility first must acknowledge that bed sores acquired in a hospital setting are a real problem.
Hospital administrators should take note of the program implemented by…

read more »

What is ‘turning’ and why is it important to prevention of bed sores?

‘Turning’ refers to exactly what it sounds like– turning the patient to prevent the build-up of pressure on the skin that can result in the development of bed sores.  Turning is universally considered to be the most important factor in bed sore prevention.  Yet, despite its universal acceptance, many facilities…

read more »

Are incontinent patients at an increased risk for developing bed sores?

Yes.  By some accounts, more that 50% of the people living in nursing homes or assisted living facilities may have some type of bladder or bowl control problems.  Although widely used, incontinence can be defined as the uncontrolled elimination of urine or fecal material from the body.
Despite its prevalence,…

read more »

How is ’tissue tolerance’ related to prevention of bed sores?

‘Tissue tolerance’ refers to the ability of the skin and underlying tissue to tolerate exposure to pressure without adverse effects.  Tissue tolerance is done by examining the skin and tissue after the pressure has been been applied and relieved.  After pressure to the area has been relieved, the following assessment…

read more »

Why is ‘turning’ so important to prevention of bed sores?

Turning refers to the repositioning of a patient at fixed time intervals– usually at least every two hours or as directed by a physician. Turning is done to ensure adequate blood circulation to the area.  Blood circulation is crucial to reduce the development of bed sores.  Many facilities have incorporated…

read more »

Are there any federal regulations that apply to the prevention of bed sores?

The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA) set forth regulations for nursing homes to comply with in exchange for their receipt of Medicare funding.  The regulations are extensive and cover most aspects of patient care.  These regulations are known as ‘F-Tags’ which collectively form the standard of care for…

read more »

Are individuals with poor nutrition susceptible to bed sores?

Yes.  Individuals who have a low body mass (BMI) are particularly susceptible to bed sores due to their overall weakened condition and the increased pressure over bony prominences (hips, back, elbows, heels, ect.)  In a study of 484 elderly patients with an average age of 79-years-old, 16.7% of the individuals…

read more »

How does the use of the Braden Scale help in the prevention of bed sores?

The Braden Scale for Predicting Pressure Sore Risk is a universally accepted tool to help staff in nursing homes and hospitals identify individuals who may be at risk for developing bed sores (also called decubitus ulcers, pressure sores or pressures ulcers).  The Braden Scale for Predicting Pressure Sore Risk evaluates…

read more »

Are pressure relieving mattresses required to be used in nursing homes?

No.  Currently, there is only one state, New Jersey, that has even proposed such legislation. Unlike normal spring-filled mattresses, pressure relieving mattresses have multiple layers of foam padding or alternating air pressure reduce the amount of pressure and friction put on bony parts of the body prone that are prone…

read more »

What are nursing homes required to do to prevent bed sores?

Federal law requires that nursing homes have bed sore prevention program.  The first part of a nursing home’s bed sore prevention program is a skin care assessment.  A skin care assessment must be completed for new nursing home residents within 14 days of admission to the facility which is done…

read more »

Is it true that bed sores are unpreventable?

No.  Bed sores are preventable–with proper screening, early detection, and staff involvement.  The development of bed sores in nursing home patients is more a reflection of poor nursing care than an inevitable part of the aging process.
Bed sores will likely develop if the facility does not make bed sore…

read more »

Is it mandatory for nursing homes to use pressure relieving mattresses?

No.  To date, only one state, New Jersey, has enacted any legislation to promote the use of pressure relieving mattresses in nursing homes
Unlike normal spring-filled mattresses, pressure relieving mattresses steadily inflate and deflate to reduce the amount of pressure and friction put on bony parts that are prone to…

read more »

What steps can be taken to minimize the risk of developing bed sores?

The following steps are widely accepted as helping bed sore prevention:

Implementing a turning schedule for patients who are at risk for developing pressure ulcers
Educating staff on skin integrity
Encouraging staff to communicate concerns over skin issues during shift changes
Ensuring appropriate nutrition and hydration of all residents
Using…

read more »

What devices or products can be used to prevent or relieve bed sores?

The use of pressure relieving mattresses is of particular importance to individuals who may be at heightened risk for developing bed sores.  Unlike normal spring-filled mattresses, pressure relieving mattresses steadily inflate and deflate to reduce the amount of pressure and friction put on bony parts of the body prone that…

read more »

Bed Sore
Resource Center

Information and medical contact resources for bed sore education and treatment.

Ask a question or request a consultation

Have a question about bed sores that you can't find on the website? Please use this form to send this question to an experienced nursing home lawyer:

captcha