If you or your loved one has ever experienced significant periods of immobility, you are probably aware of the dangers of pressure sores. These are wounds that develop after continuous pressure or friction is exerted on specific parts of the body and the person refuses or cannot change positions. The resulting loss of blood flow […]
Category : Bed Sores In Nursing Homes
Bed Sores Rampant In Many Nursing Homes
A developing bed sore is often an indicator of neglect or abuse in a nursing home or medical malpractice when it occurs in a hospital setting. A bed sore (pressure sore; pressure ulcer; decubitus ulcer) can quickly develop when continuous pressure on the patient’s skin is unrelieved. Without immediate attention, the wound can cause serious health issues including life-threatening infection.
Bed sores in nursing homes tend to develop in areas of the body where the skin covers bony prominences. These can include the heels, ankles, elbows, back, shoulders, and back of the head. Nursing home patients at greatest risk of developing a pressure sore are usually wheelchair-bound, sedentary in a bed or any patient with the inability to reposition their body without assistance.
A Very Visible and Painful Sign of Nursing Home Negligence
Sadly, developing bedsores in nursing homes are all too common. Statistics maintained by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) indicate that 10 percent of all nursing home residents currently have a bedsore. This alarming problem has been prevalent in assisted living homes, hospitals and nursing facilities for decades. To make matters worse, nearly every bedsore is preventable. Pressure sores are often caused by the lack of improper medical care or attention by nursing home staff.
As a serious health concern, an identified bedsore needs immediate pressure relief and medical attention. It is simple to recognize a bedsore in its initial stage (Stage I), where the skin feels warm and hard to the touch. The reddening occurs to underlying soft tissue when body pressure restricts blood flow and oxygen. Skin tissue can be lost if the pressure is allowed to continue after approximately two hours. During Stage II, the advancing wound creates a shallow crater open to infection. At this point, proper medical attention can reverse the debilitating condition and allow the wound to heal nearly completely.
However, by Stage III, the top layers of skin are completely lost. Subcutaneous tissue just above the fascia suffers necrosis, causing cells to die quickly. During Stage IV, necrosis reaches below the fascia layers to expose muscle, bone and ligaments. The exposed area is highly susceptible to a variety of medical conditions including:
- Osteomyelitis (bone infection)
- Sepsis (blood infection)
- Cellulitis (connective tissue inflammation)
- Cancer (primarily squamous cell carcinoma)
- Gangrene caused by restricted blood supply
Poor Patient Management Resulting In Progressively Serious Medical Complications
When a nursing home is poorly managed, the patient’s health often suffers greatly. In most situations, a developing decubitus ulcer is the result of medical staff providing less than the minimal medical standard of care. Various issues can contribute to an emergent pressure sore including:
- The patient is suffering from malnutrition and dehydration
- The patient has remained immobile for an extended period
- The patient has suffered skin damage due to unchanged soiled diapers or lying on wet
Preventing Pressure Sores From Developing In The First Place
Assisted-living facilities and nursing homes are duty bound to provide high quality health care to every patient. This means the medical staff must develop, implement and enforce a prevention program to eliminate the potential of developing bedsores. Specific protocol to minimize the potential of any patient developing a pressure ulcer would involve:
- Daily monitoring of the patient’s skin from head to toe to detect any early signs of
- Routine body repositioning of every patient unable to turn without assistance at least one time every two hours around-the-clock
- Keeping the skin and clothing of every patient clean and dry
- Frequently changing the patient’s sheets to minimize spreading infection
- Supplying pressure-relieving pads, cushions and mattresses
- Immediate medical attention by highly trained, specialized personnel anytime a developing bedsore is identified
- Preventing healthy blood circulation through skin massage
Taking Legal Action When A Bed Sore Forms During An Admission To A Skilled Nursing Facility
Legal action is often necessary when families are told that their loved one has developed a bedsore at a nursing facility. This is because nearly all bedsores are preventable. Most pressure sores usually develop through neglect when the patient does not receive adequate care.
If your loved one is suffering from a facility-acquired bedsore, it is essential to speak with a competent nursing home abuse attorney who specializes in nursing home neglect cases involving bed sores. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers at (888) 424-5757 offers a complimentary consultation to discuss your legal rights and options for stopping the abuse now. Our attorneys can review your claim and provide aggressive options to resolve your case.
What are bedsores? Bedsores are formed when a part of the body’s soft tissue, especially an area that is located on top of a bone, is pressurized against the hard surface for some time. Blood flow to the area is decreased, and an ulcer forms underneath the skin. Bedsores are very vulnerable to infection, and […]
Pressure sores, also known as decubitus ulcers, are most commonly found amongst elderly and immobile patients. These elderly and immobile patients are most commonly found in medical facilities such as hospitals and long-term care facilities. The nursing staff that is in charge of taking care of these elderly and immobile patients is not always up […]
Bedsores, also known as pressure sores, are a common ailment of nursing home patients. When diagnosed with bedsores, it is better to treat a nursing home patient adequately so that they can recover quickly. Many nursing homes have been fined for their gross neglect of their patients’ bed sore issues. An Erlanger, Kentucky nursing home […]
Nursing homes lately have been under attack for their lack of care and management with their elderly and immobile patients. Elderly patients, particularly those who have been immobilized due to a debilitating disease, require much care and regulation. Nursing staff are trained professionals who are capable of dealing with the elderly who are ill and […]
A recent study from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that black nursing home patients might be more at risk for developing pressure sores than white patients. Pressure sores, also called decubitus ulcers, are open wounds that could become deadly if left untreated. The study, which analyzed data from 2.1 million U.S. […]
A study done by the North Texas Health Care System has revealed that patients have had a bleak outlook whenever they have developed stage four pressure sores. The data suggests that preventing bedsores from developing into stage three or four sores may be more practical than treating the sores after they have developed. Nursing homes […]
As nursing home lawyer in Chicago who regularly represent individuals and families in lawsuits against skilled nursing facilities, I am reminded on a daily basis about the ongoing problems facing patients at these facilities. Pressure sores remain not just an inconvenience, but a serious health concern for patients in nursing homes across the country. A […]
Without much objection, bed sores have become an accepted way of life at some nursing homes. Today, patients, families and caregivers at some nursing homes view the development of bed sores as an inevitable part of the aging process. To the contrary, the majority of circumstances when a patient develops a bed sore during an […]
A pending trial against Retama Manor Nursing Center (Texas) will put a families allegations of improper nursing care and poor medical charting—front and center before a jury. The trial commenced by the family of Emilo Gonzalez, a patient with motile medical complications including: partial paralysis, anemia, seizure disorder, decreased appetite, dementia and Parkinson’s disease, alleges […]
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Even in large metropolitan areas like Chicago, IL patients in nursing homes, hospitals and other types of senior living facilities continue to suffer from a medical complication that has been around as long as history books have been written— bed sores. While some facilities suggest that the development of bed sores is an inevitable part […]
As a lawyer who sees a significant number of cases where nursing home or hospital patients have developed bed sores (also referred to as: pressure sores, pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers) during a short or long-term admission, I feel as though the most progress has been made with respect to new technology in the utilization […]
Pressure ulcers are indeed preventable in the overwhelming majority of circumstances. The key is to identify patients who are at risk quickly after their admission to a medical facility and timely– and effectively implement preventative measures such as regular pressure relief and ensuring patients remain clean and dry. Medicare has determined that pressure ulcers are […]
If you’ve ever wondered just how bad life in a poorly rated nursing home is, take a look at a recent investigative article by Sam Roe of the Chicago Tribune. Mr. Roe’s article chronicles life at Berwyn Rehabilitation Center, a Chicago, Illinois nursing home that received one-star in all major categories by the Medicare […]
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The Administration on Aging, defines elder abuse as the intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult. Obviously, using the the government’s definition, many forms of mistreatment- intentional and negligent may be considered abusive. In nursing homes, negligent acts […]