Pressure ulcers, also called bedsores, are prevalent in nursing homes and assisted living facilities where patients spend a considerable amount of time in bed or in a wheelchair. If an immobile person is allowed to sit or lay in one position for an extended time without being moved, damage to the skin and soft tissue may occur.
A bedsore is created when a person’s weight presses against the skin on a hard surface, such as a bed or chair. The pressure of the body’s weight and bones cause the skin to break down because blood supply to soft tissue is reduced. This kills the skin and surrounding layers of tissue and causes painful pressure ulcers develop.
It is the duty of the nursing home staff to turn immobile patients to reduce the type of pressure that causes bedsores on a regularly basis. If these steps are taken, incidents of bedsores are reduced. There is really no excuse for the staff of a nursing home, assisted living facility or in-home caregiver not to perform these simple maneuvers.
However, when a patient is allowed to sit in one place for a long time and pressure ulcers do form, the result is an extremely painful condition for the patient. Left untreated, a bedsore can become infected at both the skin layer and within the bones.
In addition to routine turning of the patient, nursing homes should also make routine inspections of their residents. This may be called a Daily Skin Assessment. If an area of the skin needs further care, the staff should perform the necessary steps to prevent further infection and formation of a bedsore. A well-trained staff member should know how to identify signs of pressure ulcers, even in the earliest stages.
If your loved one has developed a painful, life-threatening bedsore in a nursing home, your family deserves justice. Contact Lombardi & Lombardi today for a free consultation with our nursing home abuse lawyers. We will protect your loved one and fight your family’s rights.