Are Bed Sores Completely Preventable? Extremely Likely

By Nursing Home Law Center

Bedsores Preventable

Despite the fact that most families are reliant upon medical facilities for the care of their loved ones, I’ve noticed a stigma surrounding the development of bedsores during an admission to a nursing home or hospital.

Sure, there can be a sense of guilt when it comes to any illness affecting a loved one, but when families learn the relatively simple preventative measures that facilities can implement to prevent bedsores, they usually are angry and embarrassed— simply because they feel as though they could have prevented the development of the bedsores has they know the simple preventative techniques.

Surprise to the Family

As was the case with a family I met with today, who’s mother recently died from sepsis after a month stay at a Chicago-area hospital. The family confided in me that their mother had a gaping hole on her buttocks at the time of her death that went unattended to by the hospital for weeks.

A Problem Even at Well-Regarded Facilities

Bedsores have a reputation of being associated with the poor and unwanted. Yet, in reality they are frequently found at many hospitals and skilled nursing facilities—even those with excellent reputations. The toll bed sores take on patients and families crosses all backgrounds and ethnicities.

Proper Medical Care Proven to Reduce Chances of Development

With proper nursing care, bed sores should be preventable. In order to minimize the incidence of bed sores, nursing homes should do an assessment of each patient on their admission to their facility to determine which patients are at a heightened risk for developing this condition.

In order to reduce the incidence of bed sores amongst their patient’s nursing homes and hospitals need to develop a team approach to prevention. A recent New York Times article discussed the team-oriented approach necessary to reduce the development of bed sores in nursing homes.

Total Staff Involvement

Perhaps the most telling part of bed sore prevention is that all staff should be aware of how to prevent bed sores and who is at risk for developing them. Empowering all employees in a medical facility to take it upon them to prevent and take necessary interventional techniques is one of the most important factors to improving patient care.

Related Information Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Resources
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