Bedsores can be an indicator of poor nursing home care

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2024 | Uncategorized

Aging is traditionally associated with a host of medical issues. Many people experience a significant drop in bone density, which puts them at risk of fractures. People may also develop spinal compression, which decreases their height and changes their center of gravity. Cognitive decline is also common when people age. Some people just become a bit more forgetful, while others develop full-blown dementia.

Many older adults eventually have limited mobility due to their health challenges. Quite a few people living in nursing homes spend a good portion of their day in bed or seated in a comfortable chair. Spending so much time sitting or lying down might mean that someone is at risk of developing bedsores. Yet, contrary to what people often assume, bedsores are not an inevitable part of growing old. They are often a sign of negligent care.

Most bedsores are preventable

A bedsore starts to develop when there is continual pressure on the same point on the body. The force of gravity leads to the development of red inflamed tissue under someone’s heels, on the back of their knees, under their buttocks and on their shoulder blades. Even the back of the head could be a location where bedsores develop if someone stays in bed most of the day.

Also known as pressure ulcers, bedsores can cause a variety of Medical complications. In the earliest stage, they are merely painful. As the injury worsens, the bedsore can compromise the integrity of the skin. The nursing home resident is then at risk of infection. In more extreme cases, a bedsore can penetrate the skin and go into the muscle or nearby connective tissues.

More severe bedsores may increase the risk of infection and can be debilitatingly painful for older adults. Nursing homes can largely prevent bedsores by encouraging movement, rotating bed-bound patients and using a variety of different types of cushions. They can also prevent bedsores from worsening after they form by inspecting patients regularly and being proactive about providing interventions for those with early-stage bedsores.

If someone has multiple bedsores, that could be a sign of negligent care standards at a nursing home. If a bedsore affects deeper tissue, that can be a sign that the nursing home didn’t react appropriately to the developing wound. Severe infections are also potentially a sign of negligence.

Families of those with major bedsore issues can potentially file a nursing home neglect lawsuit. Litigation can potentially result in a damage award that will cover the medical expenses generated by bedsores and can serve as a penalty for a facility that did not properly care for a vulnerable older adult.



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Nathan A. Cobb