Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse – Bedsores

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In most nursing homes today, where the emphasis is on profit over the quality of care, bedsore injuries are far too common. While there’s an easily explainable medical reason why people develop bedsores—when you sit or lie in the same position for too long a period of time, the pressure from your bones inflames the underlying skin—there is simply no excuse anymore for a person to develop bedsores.
The simplest way to minimize the risk of bedsores is to ensure that a resident doesn’t sit or lie in the same position for extended periods of time. Most experts recommend that patients be repositioned at least every two hours. Sometimes, a nursing home facility doesn’t have a set of procedures in place to ensure that residents get the care they need. Often, the nursing home is understaffed or their employees lack the skill, training or supervision to make certain that appropriate steps are taken to prevent bedsores.
A number of other tools are available to nursing homes and nursing home employees to help fend off
bedsores, including:

  • Specialized mattresses that prevent bedsores
  • For patients with enough upper body strength, a trapeze bar can allow self-repositioning
  • To minimize friction and risk of bedsore from regular movement, caregivers can use bed linens to move you
  • Pillows and cushions
  • Air boots
  • Specialty wheelchairs

A number of other strategies can help reduce the risk of bedsores:

  • Studies show that smokers are more likely to develop bedsores than non-smokers, so quitting smoking can help.
  • Bedsores can develop if your skin is too dry, as well as if it is too moist. If your skin is dry, ask a caregiver to apply lotion or moisturizer. (Dry skin can also be a sign that you are not getting enough fluids). If your skin is too moist, use some talcum powder to dry it.

If your loved one has developed bedsores at a nursing home facility, it’s important that you retain
an experienced lawyer to handle your nursing home neglect and abuse claim. These cases involve complex state and federal regulations, including Medicare and Medicaid issues. Even an experienced personal injury attorney may be uncertain of the process, and lack the appropriate knowledge to fully protect your rights.