Decubitus ulcers (pressure ulcers; pressure sores; bedsores) can be extremely painful and treatment often requires proper support surfaces when the patient is immobilized. Recently, a nursing scholar from Rutgers University-Camden developed a new algorithm to assist healthcare providers in selecting the ideal surface to meet the specific needs of immobile and inactive patients. In an […]
Category : General Information
The Rate and Prevalence of Bedsores in America
Bedsores are a common serious issue for the elderly and individuals who are mobility challenged. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), bedsores affect the health of nearly 1 million adults every year in the United States. Most common bedsores advance to Stage II where the top skin layers die off, creating a shallow crater at risk of infection. Because the average age of the population continues to rise, bedsores will be a significant major health problem in the years ahead.
Bedsores (decubitus ulcers; pressure ulcers; pressure sores) are often secondary complications to other conditions, which could include spinal cord injury, quadriplegia or old age. The wound is caused by ischemia when body pressure restricts blood flow to the skin and underlying tissues. When pressure is applied externally for an extended time, the skin becomes reddened and susceptible to necrosis (tissue death). The most common areas for a bedsore include the back of the head, shoulders, shoulder blades, hips, sacrum, ankles, heels and toes.
The Prevalence of Bedsores in Nursing Home and Hospital Patients
The prevalence of developing a bedsore in a nursing home or hospital varies by certain factors including the patient’s age and gender along with the length of hospital or nursing home stay. Younger patients (under 65 years) are more likely to develop a bedsore than an older patient, and males more than females have a higher incident rate of pressure ulcers. Patient staying in a medical facility less than a year tend to have an increased potential of developing a pressure sore when compared to patients staying longer.
Nursing home patients that have had a recent loss of significant weight tend to experience a developing bedsore when compared to patients who have not recently lost weight. In addition, mobility-challenged individuals staying in nursing facilities have a one in 10 higher risk of developing a pressure sore than ambulatory patients. Individuals required to take nine prescription medications or more every day (poly-pharmaceuticals) have a higher prevalence of developing bedsores compared to those taking fewer drugs. In addition, continent patients who are better able to control their bowels have a significant lower rate of bedsores compared to patients suffering bladder or bowel incontinence.
Special Wound Care Essential to Keep Patients Safe & Wounds From Progressing
Bedsores that have been allowed to advance to Stage II, III and IV usually require experience medical professionals who are specially trained in handling life-threatening pressure ulcers. At Stage II, the pressure sore typically displays a shallow crater, blister or abrasion when the lack of blood flow damages or kills the top layer of skin. By Stage III, the skin’s full thickness is completely gone, and a deep crater exposes subcutaneous tissue down to the fascia layers. Stage IV bedsores expose bone and muscle, as all subcutaneous tissue and skin are lost. In the final stages, the patient is highly susceptible to life-threatening infection of tissue, bone and
The High Cost of Pressure Sores in Dollars and Cents
Treating advanced stage pressure sores is not only complex, but also expensive. In studiesaccumulated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the average cost in treating a facilityacquiredStage IV bedsore and all associated complications averages well over $125,000 for a
single admission. Sadly, in addition to the huge healthcare expenditure of treating a facility-acquired bedsore, most patients suffer enormous pain from a condition that could have been prevented. In addition, the life of the patient is often threatened, especially when the wound becomes infected.
Stopping the Neglect: Taking Legal Action to Protect Your Loved One From Further Harm
A facility-acquired bedsore is the first sign of neglect. Because making a claim of nursing home abuse can be complex, families are often encouraged to file a suit to take immediate legal action. After reviewing your case, a skilled attorney who specializes in bedsore cases can provide various legal options to help your loved one and hold negligent medical staff accountable for their misconduct.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can explain your rights to ensure that the injured victim receives the best medical care now. Call our legal firm at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free initial consultation without obligation. Our team of attorneys has successfully litigated nursing home abuse cases to secure financial recovery. We provide legal advocacy and fight aggressively to ensure that our client is treated with the respect they deserve.
A recent story from Oklahoma City reminds me again that elder abuse is not only limited to nursing homes. According to NewsOK.com, police found 57-year-old Deborah Ramirez trapped in her home in June 2010, surrounded by cockroaches and suffering from five bone-deep bed sores. Her main caretaker was her daughter, 28-year-old Carmella Saldanna. Saldanna was […]
Everyday families of patients in nursing homes and hospitals across the country face a devastating discovery– that their loved one has developed a bed sore. For most, the news comes as a shock. After all, no one ever expects to contract bed sores during an admission to a medical facility? Yet the initial discovery of […]
A study from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London found that elderly patients who enter hospitals with hip injuries are at a high risk of developing pressure sores, or decubitus ulcers. The study took place at an inner-city hospital in the East End of London. Of the 283 patients included in the study, 90 (32 percent) […]
Bedsores have established themselves as one of the most symbolic signs of systemic neglect of patients in nursing homes, hospitals and other medical facilities. Once thought to be an unpreventable condition that was just part of getting old, today we now see that bed sores generally be prevented with proper care and nutrition. Given the […]
Pressure sores may impact patients in nursing homes, hospitals, assisted living facilities or even people with limited mobility who are living at home. Because pressure sores remain such a common problem impacting patients in all demographics, it is important to learn about pressure sore prevention, treatment and resources. Therefore, we have assembled a variety of […]
When nursing homes take simple, preventative steps such as: turning patients, keeping them clean, and providing adequate nutrition and hydration; they can greatly decrease the incidence of pressure sores (also called: bed sores, decubitus ulcers or pressure ulcers) at their facilities. However, even though the preventative steps are well known, many nursing facilities simply fail […]
As with many aspects of medicine, an individuals propensity to develop a medical complication– such as a a bed sore, is dependent on a number of factors that are unique to the individual and the type of medical care they receive. Nonetheless evidence suggests, that individuals who remain in one position (such as lying in […]
Thousands of people enter rehab facilities every year for the purpose of healing an injury or to get short-term medical treatment only to get more than they bargained for– a bed sore. The underlying reasons why rehab patients develop bed sores (also referred to as: pressure sore, pressure ulcer or decubitus ulcer) are the same […]
Yes. Venous skin ulcers are caused by poor circulation in the legs caused by damaged valves that prevent blood from flowing the wrong way, allowing blood to pool in the legs. Pressure ulcers, on the other hand, are caused by sustained pressure on an area of the body, which cuts off blood flow. A venous […]
No. Wounds, ulcers and sores can develop from a variety of acute and chronic medical conditions. Patients may develop sores on their body due to a variety of factors including: trauma, poor circulation, and diabetic neuropathy. Sometimes people confuse these ‘other’ types of sores as a bed sore (or pressure sore, pressure ulcer, decubitus ulcer)– […]
Patients in hospitals encounter many of the same problems as nursing home patients. Although most commonly associated with nursing homes, patients in hospitals and rehab facilities are particularly susceptible to bed sores because many facilities focus on acute medical conditions and fail to address patients daily living needs. Many hospitals simply fail to train their […]
Many people with chronic medical conditions are susceptible to develop bed sores mainly due to the fact their medical condition limits their mobility. Therefore, caregivers must be aware of the increased risk and take steps to encourage activity and re-position the individual as feasible. Studies have shown that people with the following chronic conditions have […]
Although bed sores (also referred to as decubitus ulcers, pressure ulcers, or pressure sores) can develop on any part of the body where unrelieved pressure accumulates without relief for a prolonged period of time. The most common area for bed sores to develop is the buttocks or coccyx. The primary reason why bed sores are […]
The reality is that two-thirds of all people with bed sores are older that 75-years-old. Nonetheless, medical professionals in both acute and long-term care settings need to be tuned in to the fact that young people (of all ages) are still at risk to develop bed sores. Young people who have suffered a neurologic injury […]
Yes. The reality is that the prognosis for most patients with bed sores is not good. Although few studies have been conducted regarding the overall mortality of patients with bed sores (also referred to as: decubitus ulcers, pressure ulcers or pressure sores), a study of patients with paraplegia determined that bed sores are a direct […]
Yes. A research study concluded by researchers at Brown University concluded nursing homes with a higher Hispanic populations have higher rates of bed sores (also known as: pressure sores, pressure ulcers, decubitus ulcers) than facilities with less minorities. The results are detailed in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers gathered information from […]
Off loading is the relief of pressure from a particular area. Off loading usually refers to the removal of pressure for a minimum of one minute from the area. Physicians will dictate the frequency with which residents are to be off loaded the duration. In patients confined to a wheelchair, off loading requires the staff […]
‘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 should be completed by skilled […]
Yes. Bed sores (also known as: pressure sores, decubitus ulcers or pressure ulcers) are caused by pressure, which cuts off blood flow to parts of the body resulting in areas of injured skin and tissue. The areas of the body most vulnerable to pressure sores are the heels, hips, and buttocks. Persons who are bedridden, have […]