Elderly woman suffering from bed sores at a nursing home.

Understanding Bed Sores

We trust nursing homes with the care of our most vulnerable loved ones. Nursing home care is supposed to provide us with peace of mind knowing that proper care is being provided to those that really need it. It is devastating when you hear that the people and facilities you have trusted to care for your loved ones have failed to do so and they have suffered as a result. One of the most common telltale signs that a nursing home resident has been the victim of negligent care is when bed sores appear.

What are bed sores?

A bed sore, also referred to as a pressure sore or pressure ulcer, is a medical condition that develops in a person, usually a hospital patient or nursing home resident, when a sore develops on the skin due to the pressure of the mattress and bedclothes on their often extremely fragile skin. Those who are confined to their beds and unable to adjust or move themselves, must be frequently moved. If not, the consistent, unrelenting pressure will cause bed sores to develop. Once a bed sore develops, it is critical that it is properly treated right away to prevent further complications from arising.

When bed sores develop, they are usually in the following areas:

  • Hips
  • Buttocks
  • Lower back
  • Tailbone
  • Ankle
  • Heel
  • Foot

These are all areas that receive constant pressure when a patient is either seated or lying down for long periods of time.

Bed sores are usually the result of facility staff members failing to move a patient a minimum of once every two hours. If pressure-relieving mattresses are not provided, bed sores can develop fast. Additionally, the staff can work to prevent a bed sore from developing by providing cushions to relieve some of the pressure, as well as changing the residents’ clothes and bedsheets in order to reduce any moisture buildup that can act as a catalyst for the development of bed sores.

Bed sores that are not yet fully developed can be identified early on if staff members inspect a patient’s body for any signs of redness. If identified early, the worsening of the bed sore is easily preventable. If the bed sore is not immediately identified and treated, it can quickly worsen, leading to infection and other serious health complications.

Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys

A bed sore should never be something a nursing home resident suffers from if he or she is being properly cared for. Bed sores are wholly preventable. They are a telltale sign that the nursing home resident has been the victim of prolonged periods of sitting or lying down without anyone helping them shift to relieve the constant pressure. If you have a loved one who is in a nursing home and has suffered from bed sores, it is likely that he or she is a victim of nursing home negligence. Bed sores occur when someone is failing to do their job. The nursing home negligence attorneys at Cooper Schall & Levy are here to hold these people accountable for the damage their negligence has caused. Contact us today.