Pressure ulcers affect a high number of residents and patients living in assisted living and nursing home facilities. This severe condition can affect 1 in 5 residents and patients in these facilities. Pressure ulcers are often caused when nursing home staff fails in caring for the basic needs of a resident. This is a form of elder abuse and neglect that happens over some time.
What Exactly is a Pressure Ulcer?
Pressure ulcers are also called bed sores or pressure sores. These are skin injuries that are caused by persistent friction and pressure in certain areas of the body. Buttocks, back, elbows, heels, hips, and ankles are the most common areas for these ulcers. Residents that have limited mobility, such as bed-bound or those in wheelchairs, are at a greater risk of developing pressure ulcers. This is because they spend long periods of time in a single position.
Pressure ulcers range from stage 1 to stage 4 in the severity of the wound. They can be extremely painful and cause numerous complications, such as sepsis, cellulitis, and infection. Many nursing homes and care facilities are understaffed and fail to employ the necessary resources for preventing the formation of these ulcers in patients and residents.
Nursing home facility staff may also be untrained in preventing and dealing with pressure ulcers, which is a serious form of neglect. This can result in severe harm and even death in certain cases.
Is it Possible to Prevent Pressure Ulcers in Nursing Homes?
These are a few ways pressure ulcers can be prevented:
- Frequent monitoring:
Nursing home facilities are required to monitor all patients and residents frequently for identifying the signs of skin breakdown and pressure ulcers. They should properly treat those patients that show warning signs.
- Proper nutrition:
The elderly need the proper amount of nutrients, food, and water for maintaining a healthy body. This is required for preventing the breakdown of tissue and skin.
- Timely turning:
Pressure ulcers are formed because of undue stress on certain points in the body. The best way to prevent these is to turn and reposition the patient frequently for alleviating the troubled areas. Typically, residents should be turned and repositioned every 2 hours for preventing the development of bed sores. Unfortunately, an increasing number of care facilities forget to do this as often as they should.
- Proper mattresses:
Certain nursing home patients cannot be turned and repositioned because of restricted mobility. In these cases, low-air mattresses or pressure redistribution devices can be used. This can eliminate the chance of a pressure ulcer developing. You should not hesitate in speaking with a nursing home attorney if your loved one has developed these ulcers because of neglect or abuse.
Contact an Experienced Elder Abuse Attorney Today!
The skilled legal team at Walton Law, A.P.C. has represented several victims of elder abuse and helped their families obtain necessary compensation. We have extensive experience in litigating nursing facility cases that involves pressure ulcers and bed sores. These injuries are typically avoidable, and the responsible parties should be held liable for damages. You can learn more by scheduling a free consultation today. Our lawyers are happy to offer you a free and confidential consultation. Call us at (866) 338-7079 or write to us online.