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Pressure Ulcers and Bed Sores May Be Signs of Abuse or Neglect

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

Chicago nursing home abuse lawyersDecubitus ulcers, also known as bed sores, pressure ulcers, pressure sores, or pressure wounds are a painful, sometimes life-threatening medical condition which is sadly common in elderly or disabled individuals. Many residents living in long-term care facilities like nursing homes and assisted living facilities struggle with bed sores due to mobility problems. In fact, studies show that one in five nursing home residents have experienced pressure ulcer symptoms at some point in their stay.

Bed Sores Are Caused by Long Periods of Inertness

Pressure ulcers can be a sign of nursing home abuse and neglect because they are often caused by residents being left alone for long periods of time. Pressure ulcers are injuries caused by persistent pressure or friction on a person’s body. When a non-disabled person lays in bed, he or she is able to move around and find a comfortable position. When a person is immobilized by physical or cognitive disability, they cannot relieve pressure that builds up on certain body parts. Pressure ulcers commonly form on a person’s buttocks, back, backs of arms and legs, head, elbows, hips, ankles, and heels. Pressure ulcers do not form spontaneously but instead grow in severity over time. In addition to being tremendously painful, untreated pressure ulcers can lead to infection, sepsis, cellulitis, and even death.

Understaffing Can Cause Some Residents to Be Neglected

It is no secret that many long-term care facilities and nursing homes are distressingly understaffed. These institutions simply do not have the resources necessary to care for residents in the way they deserve to be cared for. Furthermore, nursing home staff are often under-educated regarding healthcare practices and lack proper training on how to prevent and treat bed sores. Immobile residents in a nursing home should be frequently monitored and repositioned in order to prevent pressure ulcers from forming.

Warning Signs of Bed Sores

If you have a loved one who is unable to care for himself or herself, make sure to be on the lookout for signs of pressure ulcers. Some common early signs that bed sores are forming include:

  • Pain or tenderness in bony areas of the body;
  • Skin discoloration;
  • Changes in skin texture;
  • Pink or red blister-like wounds;
  • Swelling;
  • Pus-like fluid on bed linens or clothing; and
  • Skin that feels cool or hot to the touch.

Pressure Ulcers Injury Attorneys Serving Cook County

If you or a loved one has experienced nursing home abuse or neglect, contact the experienced Chicago nursing home abuse and injury attorneys at Schwartz Injury Law. To schedule a free consultation with our office, call us today at 312-535-4625.

 

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bed-sores/symptoms-causes/syc-20355893

https://www.aplaceformom.com/planning-and-advice/articles/bedsores

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