Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are a common nursing home injury and a warning sign of nursing home abuse. If you have a loved one that lives in a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania nursing home, stay vigilant and attentive to their physical needs and watch for any sign of bed sores. Whether it happens intentionally, as the result of negligence, or even due to a malicious act – each of these causes constitutes nursing home abuse that is against the law.
Bed Sores – What to Look For
Bed sores commonly form in the areas where nursing home residents have the least amount of muscle or fat. When the bone is close to skin surface, bed sores can form. The most common locations where bedsores form on the body can include:
- Shoulder Blades
Bed Sore Causes
Immobilization is the number one cause of bedsores. When surgery, injury to the spinal cord, or illness cause immobility, the pressure to certain areas of the body will increase and bed sores can start to form. Bed sores have been known to show up after as little as 12 hours of immobility. Sitting still in a wheelchair and lying still in a bed create a stagnant environment where bed sores can crop up.
Friction is another cause of these injuries, and often a sign of nursing home abuse. Friction to the skin can happen when elderly patients are moved too quickly or violently. Thin, fragile skin will break down and bed sores can result.
Bed Sore Prevention
Competent medical providers will have a bed sore prevention plan ready for any nursing home resident with bed sore risk factors. Only a negligent, abusive nursing home employee would ignore a patient’s risks. Has your loved one’s elder care provider offered a bed sore prevention plan?
Common Steps in Prevention of Bed Sores:
- Regular Repositioning. Moving the body every two hours in bed, or thirty minutes in a wheelchair can help prevent bed sores.
- Leg Support. Avoid lying directly on hip bones and/or the tailbone by supporting the patient’s legs with a foam pad or leg rest.
- Special Mattress. A high quality, supportive mattress can help prevent this injury. Memory foam, air mattress, or an adjustable firmness bed should be chosen for at-risk residents.
- Inspection. Routine inspection is the number one way to detect these sores. Early detection and changes to a bed sore prevention plan will keep pressure ulcers from forming. The care providers at the nursing home should perform proactive, daily inspections.
If a family member or loved one has suffered from consistent, untreated bed sores, you may have a case for nursing home abuse. Negligent nursing homes and nursing home injuries are against the law. Contact Lopez McHugh, elder neglect lawyer Philadelphia Pennsylvania, today to schedule an appointment.