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 to help determine what factors may put the resident at risk for developing bed sores. The identification of specific risk factors helps the nursing home staff determine which preventative measures should be in place for each individual.

Nursing Home Required to Prevent BedsoresThe second component of a nursing home’s bed sore prevention program includes the development of a care plan.  In developing a care plan, members from the nursing home staff, the resident’s family, and sometimes the resident him- or herself meet and put together a care plan to address the resident’s needs.  A care plan sets forth with specificity what preventative measures are to be completed and the frequency with which they are to be completed. Specific preventative measures include turning and re-positioning, use of pressure relieving mattresses, heel boots, special nutritional supplements, and specialized skin care.

The third element of a nursing home bed sore prevention program is the implementation of the care plan.  This implementation of the care plan requires skilled workers who are competent in following the instructions set forth in the care plan.  Additionally, implementation of the care plan also requires that changes in the resident’s skin condition (development of new bed sores) be noted as the issues arise.

When nursing homes are negligent in the above aspects and a patient develops a bed sore during their admission, the patient or his or her family may be entitled to pursue a nursing home negligence lawsuit for ensuing damages.