This week my office was contacted by the family of a man who had a stage IV bedsore on his head. The man was a resident at a well-known Chicago nursing home for several years. Bedsores are caused by unrelieved pressure or friction on a patients body. If left untreated, the bedsores can develop from a minor skin irritation to a major would quickly. Due to their ‘open’ nature, bedsores can easily become infected. Bedsores are graded according to their severity, I, II, III and IV, with a stage IV being the most severe.
What makes this situation uniquely horrific is that bedsores generally develop in areas of the body where pressure relief is not always possible– the buttocks, back or heels. Because most nursing home residents lay in bed with pillows and and propped up for meals and washings, development of a bedsore on the head is a particularly frightening finding.
The development of a bedsore on the head essentially screams out the fact that this nursing home could care less about this person. Even though this resident was bed-bound and fed through a feeding tube, the development of a pressure sore on his head should have been noticed if at no other time than when the staff changed the sheets? This facility should be ashamed of itself and every person who works there. I will keep you posted as to developments in this incident involving a new low in nursing home care.