The son of a deceased nursing home patient blames ‘under-staffing’ as the primary reason why his mother fell and subsequently developed pressure ulcers. Gary Brown filed a lawsuit against a county operated nursing home in Nebraska on behalf of his deceased mother’s estate.
In addition to under-staffing, the lawsuit alleges the facility allowed his mother to develop pressure ulcers (also referred to as pressure sores, decubitus ulcers or bed sores) during her recovery from a fall at the facility. Despite the fact that the pressure ulcers progressed and became infected, the facility also allegedly failed to notify the woman’s personal physician. Lastly, it is claimed that the pressure sores contributed to the patient’s death.
Read more about this lawsuit due to development of pressure ulcers here.
Nursing Homes Obligation To Prevent Pressure Ulcers
Nursing homes must develop a customized program to prevent and monitor each resident’s risk for developing pressure ulcers. Unfortunately, at facilities that are inadequately staffed, many of the preventative measures set forth in a care plan are not complied with.
Pressure ulcers may develop when a patient is left in one position for a long period of time. Consequently, many nursing home patients need to be ‘turned’ on a regular basis. Many facilities have charts to help staff keep track of the re-positioning schedule for each resident.
To minimize development of pressure ulcers, nursing home residents should be:
- Cleaned regularly with mild soap and lukewarm water
- Moisturized daily
- Kept dry and clean– especially kept free from urine and feces
- Rotated on schedule to prevent the build up of pressure from one area of the body
- Encouraged to get proper nutrition and hydration
- Kept the bed elevation as low as possible- this reduces pressure on the sacrum and buttocks
For laws related to Nebraska nursing homes, look here.
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