legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Nursing Home Bedsores
As a society, we rely on nursing homes to provide our elderly loved ones with the care and attention they need. Unfortunately, many nursing home residents experience neglect and abuse, leading to serious health consequences like nursing home bedsores.
These painful and potentially life-threatening pressure sores are often preventable with proper care and it is the responsibility of nursing homes to ensure that residents do not develop bedsores.
Do you suspect your loved one developed bedsores due to nursing facility neglect? Our personal injury attorneys represent nursing home residents harmed by abuse and neglect by caregivers, family members, friends, and other patients.
Contact the nursing home abuse lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC at (800) 926-7565, or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.Understanding Nursing Home Bedsores
Nursing home bedsores, or pressure ulcers, are skin and underlying tissue injuries caused by prolonged pressure on a particular body area.
These sores most commonly develop on areas of the body where the skin and tissue beneath are in contact with a bed or wheelchair, such as the back, hips, heels, and buttocks.
Bedsores can cause debilitating injuries and can often lead to permanent damage of the skin or muscle and in severe cases, death.
Nursing home bedsores are a significant concern for elderly patients and those with limited mobility.Nursing Home Bedsore Statistics
Nursing home negligence is a serious concern, and one of the most common manifestations of neglect is the development of a pressure ulcer in nursing home patients.
Bedsores are a significant health risk for elderly individuals in nursing homes and can have severe consequences if left untreated.
Statistics related to nursing home bedsore rates include:
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 2.5 million pressure ulcers (bedsores) are treated in medical facilities annually in the United States.
It is estimated that nursing home outbreaks of infections, including those related to bedsores, have affected approximately 1 million residents, and resulted in about 380,000 deaths in the United States.
- The United Spinal Association reports that up to 28% of nursing home residents may develop bedsores.
- The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports that between 700,000 and 1.5 million nursing home residents yearly suffer from pressure ulcers.
- According to the World Health Organization, bedsores are a significant problem for elderly individuals, estimated to affect up to 95% of patients.
- The National Institutes of Health reports that the prevalence of bedsores in nursing homes varies widely but can be as high as 23%.
- The Food and Drug Administration notes that bedsores are associated with prolonged hospital stays, increased healthcare costs, and increased morbidity and mortality rates.
These statistics highlight the significant health risk nursing home bedsores pose to elderly patients.
Preventing and treating a pressure ulcer in residents is essential to maintain patient safety and well-being. Nursing home staff should be aware of the risks of pressure sores and take steps to prevent their development.
Residents' families should also be vigilant and take action if they suspect neglect or abuse in nursing home care.Risk Factors for Developing Bedsores
Several factors can increase the risk of a nursing home resident in developing pressure sores, including:
- Poor nutrition: Malnourished patients are more likely to develop pressure ulcers due to a lack of nutrients for healthy skin.
- Limited mobility: Bedridden patients or those confined to a wheelchair for prolonged periods have a higher risk of developing bedsores.
- Underlying tissue problems: Patients with circulation or sensory problems have a high risk of a pressure ulcer developing due to reduced blood flow and the inability to sense discomfort.
- Age: Older adults have thinner skin and less fatty tissue, making them more susceptible to developing bed sores.
- Infection control: Patients with diabetes or vascular disease have a higher risk of developing pressure sores due to compromised immune systems and reduced blood flow to the affected areas.
Other risk factors in the development of pressure sores are contractures (shortening and hardening of muscles, tendons, and tissue), spinal cord injuries, and diabetes.
Nursing home staff must be aware of these risks and take steps to prevent a pressure ulcer from developing in their residents. It includes providing proper care, monitoring patients for early signs of developing pressure ulcers, and promptly treating bedsores if they occur.Pressure Ulcer Prevention
Proper care for residents is essential to prevent the development of bedsores. Nursing home staff should take proactive steps to minimize the risk of bed sores, including regular repositioning, turning, proper nutrition, correct wound treatment, and cleanliness.Regular Repositioning and Turning of Nursing Home Residents
One of the most effective pressure ulcer prevention protocols is regularly repositioning and turning residents. It helps to relieve pressure on the skin and tissue beneath, allowing for improved blood flow and reducing the risk of developing pressure ulcers.
It is recommended that patients who are bedridden or confined to a wheelchair be repositioned every two hours. Nursing home staff should also know the patient's needs, as some may require more frequent repositioning or turning.Maintaining Proper Nutrition
Maintaining proper nutrition is essential for preventing bedsores in residents. Malnourished patients are more likely to develop pressure ulcers due to a lack of nutrients for healthy skin.
It is recommended that nursing home staff members work with patients to develop a balanced diet that includes adequate protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Proper hydration is also essential for skin health. Dehydrated patients are more likely to have a pressure ulcer develop, as dehydration can lead to dry skin and reduce skin elasticity. Staff should ensure patients drink enough water and fluids throughout the day.
It is crucial for staff to be vigilant in their care, monitoring patients for early signs of developing a pressure ulcer.Preventing Nursing Home Bedsores
Identifying early bedsore stages is crucial for preventing further damage and treating pressure ulcers promptly.
Understanding the four stages of a pressure sore and how to identify necrotic tissue (dead tissue) and other signs of serious injuries can help staff take action to prevent bedsores from becoming more severe.Understanding the Four Stages of Bedsores
Pressure ulcers progress through four stages, each with increasing severity. The four stages are as follows:
- Stage I: In the early stages, the skin is not broken but red or discolored. The affected area may be warm, tender, or itchy.
- Stage II: In this stage, the skin is broken, and the sore has become an open wound or blister. The area may be painful, and the surrounding skin may appear discolored or swollen.
- Stage III: In this stage, the sore has become more profound and may extend into the tissue beneath. The wound may appear as a crater, and necrotic tissue (eschar) may present.
- Stage IV: In this stage, the sore has become very deep, extending into the muscle, bone, or other structures beneath the skin. A large amount of necrotic tissue (slough) may present, and the wound may have an unpleasant odor.
Identifying necrotic tissue and other signs of severe injuries is crucial for preventing bedsores from becoming more severe. Necrotic tissue (eschar or slough) can provide an ideal environment for bacterial growth, leading to infection and other complications.
Staff should be vigilant in their care, monitoring patients for any signs of necrotic tissue or other serious injuries, including:
- Foul-smelling discharge from the sore
- Redness, warmth, or swelling in the surrounding tissue
- Fever or other signs of infection
- Discoloration of the skin or surrounding tissue
- Pain or tenderness in the affected area
- Deep tissue injuries (DTIs) and unstageable pressure wounds may present as a purplish or maroonish color and are caused by damage to the tissue beneath
Staff members can promptly prevent bedsores from becoming more severe by understanding the four bedsore stages and identifying dead tissue and other signs of severe injuries. It includes providing proper wound care and seeking medical attention if necessary.Treatment of Nursing Home Bedsores
When bedsores occur, it is essential to take prompt action to prevent further damage and promote healing. It may involve treating and preventing infection, promoting blood flow to the affected area, and exploring surgical and non-surgical options.Treating and Preventing Infection
Infection is a common complication of bedsores and can be very serious. If an infection is suspected, it is vital to seek medical attention immediately. Treatment may involve antibiotics, wound care, and other interventions to prevent the spread of infection.
Preventing infection is also a crucial part of the treatment process, and staff members should keep the affected area clean and free from bacteria.Promoting Blood Flow to the Affected Area
Promoting blood flow to the affected area can help to promote healing and prevent further damage. It may involve repositioning the patient to relieve pressure on the affected area, using unique cushions or mattresses to distribute pressure, and encouraging movement and exercise.
Healthcare professionals may also recommend using specialized dressings or other treatments to promote healing and prevent infection.Surgical and Non-Surgical Options
Surgical intervention at a medical facility may sometimes be necessary to treat bedsores. It may involve removing necrotic tissue or skin grafting to promote healing.
Non-surgical options may include the use of topical treatments, such as ointments or creams, and the use of specialized dressings to protect the affected area. It is essential to work with a healthcare professional to determine the most effective treatment plan for the patient.What to Do if You Suspect Neglect or Abuse
If you suspect your loved one is being neglected or abused in a nursing home, it is essential to take prompt action to ensure their safety and well-being, such as the following:
- Talk to the staff: The first step in addressing concerns about neglect or abuse is to discuss problems with staff. They may be able to manage your concerns or provide additional information about your loved one's care.
- Document any concerns: If you suspect neglect or abuse is occurring, it is essential to document your concerns.
It may include taking photographs of bedsores or other injuries, keeping a record of conversations with staff, and documenting any changes in your loved one's condition.
- Report to appropriate authorities: If you suspect neglect or abuse, it is essential to report it to the relevant authorities, including the nursing home administration, state agencies, or law enforcement.
You can also report concerns to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the National Center on Elder Abuse.
- Consider moving your loved one: If neglect or abuse occurs in a nursing facility, transferring your loved one to a different facility may be necessary. It can be challenging but may be required to ensure their safety and well-being.
- Advocate for nursing home reform: Nursing home neglect and abuse are a significant concern. Consider advocating for reform, including supporting legislative efforts to improve care or raising awareness of the issue.
By taking these steps, you can ensure your loved one receives the care and attention they deserve in a nursing home. Neglect and abuse in nursing homes are serious concerns, and it is essential to take prompt action to address them and prevent them from happening to others.Legal Options for Nursing Home Abuse Bedsores
If a nursing home resident has developed bedsores due to neglect or abuse, they may have legal options to pursue. It is essential to understand the legal options available to you and seek the help of a law firm specializing in nursing home abuse cases.
Filing a nursing home neglect claim is a complex legal process that requires extensive research and evidence gathering. It is essential to work with a law firm specializing in injury cases and has experience in handling nursing home abuse cases.
These firms can help you gather evidence, file your case, and seek financial compensation for medical expenses and other damages.Hire a Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer to Resolve Your Case
Do you suspect that a family member or loved one has been the victim of neglect or abuse in a nursing home? An injury lawyer can help you understand your legal options and seek compensation for damages. We offer a free case evaluation to discuss your claim and help you understand your legal options.
Our attorneys specialize in nursing facility abuse cases, offering legal representation to clients across the United States. We can seek financial compensation on your behalf for your loss and damages.Free Case Evaluation
Call Nursing Home Law Center, LLC at (800) 926-7565 or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options regarding nursing home bedsore lawsuits.
By hiring a personal injury lawyer, you can ensure that your family member or loved one's rights are protected and that they receive the compensation they deserve. Don't hesitate to seek legal advice if you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect.
Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if you receive a settlement or court award, making legal representation more accessible and affordable.Resources: