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Bed Sores Continue to Plague Patients in Chicago Nursing Homes & Hospitals
By Nursing Home Law Center
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 of the aging process, the overwhelming majority of circumstances behind the development of bed sores at a medical facility indicate that the facility was simply not doing an adequate job caring for the patient.
The Mechanics Behind Bed Sore Development
Bed sores (or otherwise referred to as: pressure sores, pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers) are the result of basic mechanical principals: force and shear. When patients in nursing homes and hospitals are left in place for extended periods, the weight of their body on relatively hard surfaces such as hospital beds and wheelchairs gradually impairs the bodies circulatory process.
Gradually, blood flow is restricted to the areas of the body that remain with unrelieved pressure. Without a nutrient rich supply of blood, tissue and skin die — giving way to an open wound. Like most medical conditions, bed sores do not develop overnight. Most situations involving the development of bed sores during an admission to a medical facility result from patients being left in place over an extended period of time!
Prevention of Bed Sores Requires a Team Effort
While the medical community has made tremendous strides in the prevention and eradication of diseases that have long troubled society, relatively little progress has been made when it comes to reducing the incidence of bed sores in patients who are infirm or elderly. Some studies on patient care have shown that patients today are more likely to develop a bed sore today than they were just ten years ago!
What may be most troubling about bed sores compared with other medical complications, is that the factors that are associated with development of bed sores remains well-understood by the medical and non-medical community. Whether it’s a small family-operated nursing home or large university hospital, bed sore prevention requires quite a bit of hands-on care. In addition to keeping patients active, other preventative measures include:
- Rotating physically disabled patients out of their beds on regular intervals
- Keeping patients clean and dry - changing incontinent patients quickly
- Encouraging adequate nutrition and hydration
- Utilizing specialized devices such as pressure relieving mattresses and cushions for patients with limited mobility
Medical Complications Associated with Bed Sores
Thankfully, when bed sores are identified in their early stages patients chances of a full recovery are quite good. Unfortunately, when facilities are slow to acknowledge the presence of a bed sore or the wound has advanced, there is a good chance of medical complications such as:
Knowing the prevalence of complications from advanced bed sores (stage 4), it is crucial that staff at medical facilities carefully document each pressure sore and keep the patients physician regularly updated as to their condition.
Legal Rights for You and Your Loved One
Given the well known measures known to prevent the development of bed sores, the development of bed sores during an admission to a nursing home, hospital or assisted living facility is simply inexcusable. As opposed to other types of nursing home negligence or medical malpractice cases, where an individuals error can result in patient injury, most cases involving bed sores are reflective of the negligent care on the part of an entire facility.
Attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center LLC have successfully resolved bed sore cases involving different types of medical and non-medical facilities on behalf of families and individuals in Chicago and on a national basis. If your family member has developed a bed sore under the care of a facility, we would be honored to talk with you regarding your potential legal rights. As with all of our cases, our consultations are free and confidential and we only charge a fee when there is a recovery.
- Without a prevention plan, all nursing home & hospital patients remain at risk for developing pressure ulcers
- Why is it important to differentiate the type of facility where a bed sore developed?
- What are the stages of bed sores?
- Is an autopsy necessary when a family suspects bed sores caused the death of a family member?
- Nursing Home Injury Laws: Illinois
- Illinois Case Value