Bedsores / Ulcers

Why are bedsores a sign of neglect?

Bedsores are pressure injuries that can occur when an area of skin is exposed without relief to a source of contact or pressure such as a bed frame or wheelchair. They can also result from rough or improper handling, such as if a staff member moves a sedentary patient too quickly and causes his or her skin to rub against the bedside. If allowed to develop without treatment, these painful sores can become very dangerous and even life-threatening.

There are four stages of bedsores. Due to the progressive nature of tissue and nerve damage in these injuries, the worse a bedsore becomes, the less likely the victim is to feel it. A stage four bedsore can impact the muscles and bones, resulting in serious deep tissue damage and potentially fatal infection. Complications resulting from bedsores may include osteomyelitis and sepsis - infections of the bone and blood, respectively.

Preventing Bedsores

Because of the prevalence of bedsores in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, it is the responsibility of staff members to proactively protect residents from developing such injuries.

Preventive measures should include:

  • Ensuring that patients have access to nutritious meals, as malnutrition can contribute to the development of bedsores
  • Ensuring that patients are well hydrated
  • Encouraging blood flow by helping patients engage in regular exercise activity to the extent they are able
  • Readjusting patients regularly so that they never stay in the same position for too long
  • Consistent skin inspections to address any trouble areas before they become problematic

Elder Abuse Lawyer for New York & New Jersey

Because bedsores are easily prevented, they are often a sign of nursing home negligence. If your loved one is suffering from bedsores, take action to get medical help as soon as possible. You should also consider taking legal action against the negligent staff responsible for your family member's pain. Contact Morelli Law Firm today to set up a free case consultation with a New York and New Jersey nursing home abuse lawyer.