Category : Nursing Home Abuse

Signs of Abuse: Acquiring a Bed Sore in a Nursing Home

Abuse 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.

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Nursing Home Staffing Problems Contributing to Abuse 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

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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, negligence 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.

Malnutrition Is a Leading Cause of Bedsores

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 […]

Hidden Cameras Capture Abuse of Nursing Home Patient

Hidden Cameras to Watch Patients

Imagine being bedridden due to illness.  Unable to speak or stand up for yourself you watch in horror as your doctors and nurses abandon you.  Then, to add insult to injury, they cover up their misdeeds and lie about their malfeasance. This nightmare was a reality for a nursing home patient in Buffalo, Michigan (identified […]

Nurse faces criminal charges after she fails to obtain medical treatment for bedsore patient

Nurse faces criminal charges

Criminal charges are expected to be filed against Virginia Munger, a CNA employed by Homewell Senior Care (Seattle, WA), after prosecutors concluded that Munger failed provide any medical intervention for an elderly patient she was responsible for caring for. The criminal investigation followed the bedsore-related death of an elderly home-based patient.  In the course of […]

Why is a patient’s hydration level critical to healing bed sores?

hydration needed for healing

Though widely accepted in the medical community as an essential component of good health, proper hydration is critical for patients who need to heal existing bed sores.  Adequate hydration is critical to for multiple functions in the body that are particularly important in patients with existing bed sore such circulation, liver function, and optimum functioning […]

Why are physically disabled patients at risk for developing bed sores?

a patient in a wheelchair is at risk for developing bed sores

Bed sores are common problem facing physically challenged patients in nursing homes and hospitals alike.  The primary reason physically disabled patients are at risk for developing bed sores (similarly called: decubitus ulcers, pressure ulcers or pressure sores) is because they are reliant upon caretakers to take the necessary steps to prevent bed sores. In particular, […]

Can malnutrition cause bed sores?

Yes.  As unbelievable as it sounds, some patients are literally starving in nursing homes and hospitals across the country.  When patients are not given adequate nutrition, organs begin to fail and critical body functions begin to deteriorate. As the largest organ of the body, the skin is one of the first places where the consequences […]

Can dehydration contribute to the development of bed sores?

hydration for nursing home patients

Yes. Dehydration occurs when a person does not receive enough liquid through oral consumption or via a feeding tube. Inadequate fluid consumption results in imbalance of the bodies chemistry and reduction of blood volume.  Changes in blood volume and chemistry typically interfere with circulation.  The decrease in circulation translates to inadequate supply of oxygen and […]