Bed sores are painful, dangerous, and a telltale sign of nursing home neglect.
Nursing homes, retirement homes, and assisted living centers provide a vital service for individuals who are unable to fully and independently take care of themselves. These facilities have trained professionals who are tasked with the responsibility of providing care to senior citizens as well as people suffering from chronic illnesses and cognitive deficiencies.
Bed sores (also spelled bedsores) develop over time and signal a lack of blood flow to a certain area of the body. Also known as decubitus ulcers or pressure sores, these types of sores can become dangerous if not treated in a timely manner.
An obvious sign of neglect.
Bed sores typically happen due to some kind of neglect (a form of abuse) in a nursing home. Given the advanced ages of individuals in nursing homes, these people are unable to move from one place to the other with ease. They thus depend on their caregivers to get them off a bed or chair, turn them on a regular basis to prevent the development of bed sores, as well as change their soiled clothing and diapers as needed.
Bed sores happen in areas of the body that have a thin skin and/or bone close to the skin. This can include areas such as the shoulders, back, heels, knees tailbone and elbows. With time, body pressure on these areas can wear the skin away, exposing deeper skin layers, muscle, and even bone. This makes a person who has a bed sore more susceptible to developing ulcers, infections such as necrotizing fasciitis, and in some cases, septic shock ending in wrongful death.
Identifying bed sores.
Bed sores may be identified via the presence of red and irritated areas of the skin. Nursing home attendants who do not identify these signs in a timely manner may be putting the individual’s life in danger. The CDC states that 1 in 10 nursing home residents suffer from bed sores. This is an unfortunate occurrence that can be attributed to high levels of elder neglect.
In a normal setting, bed sores don’t occur if the individual gets the care that they deserve. This includes things like being moved on a regular basis, having their garments changed when they are soiled, and being given their meals on regular intervals.
Treatment may alleviate the damage done to the skin before it’s too late. Rinsing the sore with a saline solution may help in keeping the area sterile and free from any infection. If the pressure sores are serious enough, removal of necrotic or dead tissue can go a long way in ensuring that the wound heals well. Bed sores may also require hyperbaric oxygen treatment and surgical skin grafts in some cases. The best treatment is prevention and early detection.
Do you suspect nursing home neglect has occurred?
When a nursing home fails to provide adequate care or does not notify you and your family when bed sores appear, you cannot be passive. Take a stand, make a fuss, and fight for what’s right. Don’t let this behavior continue. Ensure that your loved one has someone fighting on their side by contacting a nursing home abuse lawyer today. You may be able to sue for the damages they’ve suffered. Call Rasansky Law Firm today at 1-877-405-4313 for your free consultation and to see whether you may have a valid claim.
In these types of cases, time is of the essence. The compensation that you get will help provide medical care to your loved one as well as place them in a better nursing home if needed. Take a stand for what’s right. Call us today.