Published on:

Inadequate Nutrition & The Development Of Bed Sores In Nursing Home Patients

Picture-158Sad but true, many nursing home patients are suffering from malnutrition.  While we often associate malnutrition amongst the homeless or people living in a third-world country, some studies suggest that between 35% and 85% of nursing home patients are malnourished. As attorney David Terry points out in his blog post, “How Does Poor Nutrition Affect the Development of Bed Sores in Nursing Homes?” the rampant malnutrition can be associated with an increased risk of developing bed sores. Poor nutrition results in a deterioration of body functioning.  Over extended period of time, patients without adequate nutrition tend to have organs that begin to fail and critical body functions begin to deteriorate and lose effectiveness. As the largest organ of the body, your skin is one of the first places where the consequences of inadequate nutrition may be visible.  Malnutrition can result in the deminished effectiveness of the skin’s natural resiliance to pressure and other factions that contribute to the development of bed sores (similarly described as pressure sores, pressure ulcers, or decubitus ulcers). In addition to malnutritions reduction in the effectiveness in the skins natural resilancy, malnourishment of nursing home patients may also lead to other medical problems that contribute to the development of bed sores:

Reduction in Energy Levels: Malnourished people have less energy and consequently are unable to move on their own– resulting in a more time spent in one position.

Reduction in the bodies natural cushioning: A long-term consequence of malnourishment is loss of fat, muscle and tissue– that provide necessary padding particularly in bed-bound patients, the less padding the more pressure that is put directly on the body– thereby resulting in increased rate of bed sores. Inadequate Nutrition & Hinderance of The Bodies Natural Healing Properties David makes a great point regarding the important role nutrition plays in not just bed sore prevention, but also healing bed sores.  One of the most overlooked aspects of bed sore treatment is assuring that facilities provide additional calories and protiien for patients with advanced bed sores. A nutritional consultation should be brought in for patients with open wounds (stage 3 or 4 bed sores) so the specific nutritional needs can be tailored to the patient need.

Caregiver tip: As family and caregivers it is important to recognize the severity of the medical complications that accompany malnutrtion.  As with many medical conditions, it is far easier to prevent malnutrition than to teat the accompanying medical complications that tend to develop over time. Caregivers should be on the lookout for the following:

  • Look out for physical signs of malnutrition: diarrhea, disorientation, drastic weight loss, reduced urine output or cracking skin
  • Request a speech tharapist consult if your patient has difficulty swallowing
  • For bed bound patients, make sure meals are within reach of the patient and there is staff present to assist
  • Ask about nutritional supplements for patients who are weak or have exhisting bed sores

Related Bed Sore FAQ’s: Can malnutrition cause bed sores? Extra Calories Essential For Pressure Sore Patients To Heal Wounds

Client Reviews

  • Having worked in the medical field, I appreciated the way that Mr. Rosenfeld and his staff approached my family’s situation. The combination of medical knowledge and legal expertise was indeed the winning combination for our case.
  • While nothing can change the way our mother was treated at a nursing facility, I do feel a sense of vindication that the facility was forced to pay for their treatment. I am certain that they would never have done had my attorneys not held their feet to the fire.
  • I was very nervous about initiating a claim against my mother’s nursing facility, but Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers took care of everything from getting the medical records to going to court. I felt like I had real advocates on my side. That meant a lot to me.
  • After a horrific episode at a nursing home, my sister and I spoke to a number of law firms. No one took the time to answer our questions and explain the legal process like Mr. Rosenfeld. He did a tremendous job on our case and I can see why he’s earned the praise he has from clients and peers.
  • I liked the fact that I could call the office and ask questions about the legal process at anytime. I could tell that my case was in good hands. I think that this was reflected in my father’s settlement was more than I anticipated the case ever being worth.