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What You Need to Know About Bed Sores in Nursing Homes

 Posted on April 30, 2021 in Nursing Home Abuse

chicago nursing home neglect lawyerIf your parent or another loved one lives in a nursing home, rehabilitation facility, or assisted living facility, it is important to monitor his or her health and wellbeing. While many nursing homes are safe environments filled with hard-working staff, not all nursing homes meet the standards required by law and expected by residents’ loved ones. Because many nursing home residents are already in poor health, nursing home neglect and abuse can be extremely dangerous. One issue in particular that it is important to remain watchful for is bed sores.

What is a Bed Sore?

Pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers are wounds that occur when there are long periods of pressure on the skin. Blood cannot circulate properly when skin is under pressure for too long. Nursing home residents who are bed-ridden or confined to a wheelchair are at the greatest risk of bed sores. The buttocks, back, and legs are some of the most common places that bed sores develop.

The first signs of a bed sore include pain, swelling, itching, and redness. If the pressure is not relieved, the skin may break open. Pain increases and the wound becomes vulnerable to infection. If nothing is done to address the worsening bed sore, the wound increases in depth to the tissue under the skin. The wound may even reach the tendons, muscles, and bones. At this point, a bed sore sufferer is susceptible to severe infection or even a life-threatening condition called sepsis.

How Can Nursing Homes Prevent Bed Sores?

Fortunately, bed sores are preventable. If a nursing home resident cannot move around very well on his or her own, nursing home staff should reposition the resident regularly. For example, if a resident is confined to a bed, nursing home staff can move the resident from his or her back to his or her side. If a resident uses a wheelchair, staff can help the resident move from the wheelchair to the bed or shift within the chair. The use of cushions and pillows can also help prevent bed sores. Once a bed sore does develop, staff must carefully monitor the resident for signs of infection. The wound must be cleaned and redressed regularly. The resident may require antibiotic medication if an infection develops.

Contact a Chicago Bed Sore Lawyer

Bed sores are painful and dangerous. If your loved one suffered injury or death due to a nursing home’s failure to prevent or treat bed sores, you may have a valid nursing home neglect claim. You may be able to hold the nursing home accountable and recover compensation for damages. A Cook County nursing home neglect attorney from Schwartz Injury Law can help you understand your legal options. Call us at 312-535-4625 for a free consultation.


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