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Category : Nursing Home Abuse
Signs of Neglect: Acquiring a Bed Sore in a Nursing Home
Neglect in a nursing home often results in bedsores. In fact, the residents of nursing homes tend to acquire bedsores at a rate nearly twice as often as patients in hospitals. This higher rate is often the result of less stringent guidelines followed by nursing homes compared to the strict regulations followed by hospitals for preventing and treating patients. The lack of tough rules often allows nursing home administrators to focus on increasing profits at the cost of providing optimal resident care.
Bedsores are often referred to as pressure sores, decubitus ulcers and pressure ulcers. Damage to the skin and underlying tissue is caused by sustained pressure when the resident in the nursing home lies in the same position for hours in bed, when sitting in a chair or wheelchair. The sustained pressure restricts the necessary flow of blood to the skin tissue, which can cause permanent or temporary damage.
Nearly every type of bedsore in a nursing home is preventable. However, prevention of the decubitus ulcer requires routine monitoring and active response including repositioning the resident and treating existing wounds. With routine turning and moving, adequate blood flow can provide oxygen and nutrients to the area and minimize the potential of bedsore development.
Nursing Home Staffing Problems Contributing to Neglect of Patients
There is an increasing demand for more beds in nursing facilities as more individuals live longer into their retirement years. However, competition between nursing facilities to stay full often leads to minimal staffing, forcing patients to wait longer to receive necessary care, including changing soiled clothing and linens. As a result, older residents who do not have the ability to change themselves are forced to lie or sit in the soiling until receiving assistance from a caregiver.
Anytime an elderly resident must sit in their feces and urine, the skin becomes weakened, losing its durability by the excessive moisture. Over time, the skin can become highly susceptible to developing a pressure sore. At first glance, a pressure sore may not appear to be a serious condition. However, through neglect or lack of training of the medical staff, a severe bedsore can become the underlying cause of the resident’s death while staying in the nursing home.
Poor Management of Patient Needs contributing to Bed Sores
Poorly managed nursing homes often place the residents at greater risk for developing decubitus ulcers. Residents the develop bedsores after being admitted is usually the result of the nursing home and medical staff negligence or abuse. Pressure sores can develop by a variety of problems in the nursing home including:
Dehydration and malnutrition
Immobility for long periods of time
Excessive skin moisture caused by wet sheets for unchanged diapers
Patients at the Greatest Risk for Developing Pressure Sores Need to be Identified
There are certain patients that have a tendency for acquiring a bedsore in a nursing home. These include:
Residents 75 years and older
Those that are underweight
Patients who struggle with or lack the ability to feed themselves
Those suffering with dry skin conditions
Patients who are challenged with mobility
Those suffering with a decreasing or challenged mental state
Patients with incontinence, or the inability to hold their bladder or bowel
Those that lack the sense for needing to reposition the body, or the inability to do it
Residents treated for various conditions including multiple sclerosis, cancer or diabetes
Federal and Illinois state laws require nursing facilities to ensure that no patient develops a pressure sore, unless specific medical conditions indicate it is unavoidable. Additionally, the laws also require that any nursing home patient with bedsores be treated properly to ensure the condition does not progress.
Bedsores Frequently the Result of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
Because in nearly every incident, acquiring bedsores in nursing homes is preventable, neglect is usually involved when a patient develops them after admittance to the facility. Most bedsores can significantly reduce the quality of life of the resident in the nursing home.
As a result, many family members with a loved one suffering bedsores will take legal action to hold the responsible parties accountable for their negligence or malpractice. Financial settlements are often awarded to victims acquiring a bedsore in a nursing home as a way to compensate for the mental and physical hardship they sustained.
If you suspect neglect caused developing bedsores of your loved one residing in a nursing home, contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers at (888) 424-5757 to speak with an experienced attorney. The law firm offers a free initial consultation to discuss the merits of the claim. Through legal representation, you can stop the negligent actions of nursing care staff of your loved one and others in the facility.
The nutritional requirements of individuals suffering from pressure ulcers, decubitus ulcers, pressure sores or bedsores are extremely high. Most elderly individuals require extra protein, vitamins, minerals and calories to assist in the healing of their wounds. As a result, malnutrition, or the deficiency in consuming vital nutrients, often delays the healing of the wound. Malnutrition […]
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Yes. The combination of limited mobility associated with a heavy cast, the constant pressure on areas of the body and a moist environment are all factors that may contribute to the development of bed sores in patients who have casts on their arms or legs. Nursing homes and hospitals should be aware of the potential […]
Mentally disabled patients are at a heightened risk for developing bed sores primarily due to the fact that they may be completely reliant upon staff in a nursing home or hospital for their care. Unfortunately, some mentally disabled patients my physically look well and the staff may mistakenly believe that they do not require assistance […]
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Contractures are a medical condition where a joint is held in a fixed position due to the shortening of a muscle or tendon due to stress exerted on the muscle or spasticity (uncontrolled muscle movement). Older patients and those with limited mobility are especially prone to develop contractures. Contractures most commonly form in the hands, […]
About Bed Sore FAQ
Bed Sore FAQ is sponsored from a grant provided by Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers. The purpose of Bed Sore FAQ i
s to provide information to to patients and families in order to make informed decisions concerning
circumstances where a pressure sore has developed during an admission to a nursing home, hospital or
assisted living facility. This material is for informational purposes and is not intended to take the place of
medical advice. Learn more