When people are immobile for an extended period of time, there is increased pressure and tension on the skin that is in contact with the bed. After time, this pressure can lead to a break in the skin, called a pressure sore ulcer. This break is commonly known as bedsores, and when they are left untreated, they can become extremely painful and infected. Unfortunately, while some bedsores are normal due to certain people’s need to be in bed for extended periods of time, they are also a sign of nursing home abuse and neglect.
There are varying levels of pressure sore ulcers. They typically occur where skin is stretched over a bone, such as the hips or elbows. They also often occur in locations that experience constant contact, such as the lower bed. Bedsores come in a variety of stages:
- Stage 1. with some pain and redness
- Stage 2. skin is broken and the wound is exposed
- Stage 3. the wound begins to infect the surrounding skin
- Stage 4. the wound exposes tissue and bone
The best way to prevent bedsores is for nursing home staff to regularly move patients into different positions. Even when patients are in a wheelchair, simply relieving pressure from one part of the body for extended periods of times can make a tremendous impact on bedsores. In addition, nursing home staff should receive adequate training so that they understand which angles and sleeping positions reduce bedsores. The patient’s skin should also be inspected regularly and a good diet should be maintained to reduce malnutrition, which can also contribute to bedsores.
Unfortunately, one in ten nursing home patients develop bedsores. The worst thing that can happen when these ulcers are formed is to do nothing. Additionally, a sign of nursing home neglect taking place are bedsores. If you suspect that your loved ones are developing bedsores because of a lack of attention or care from nursing home staff, get in touch with a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer right away.
Call Our Experienced Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
Bed sore injuries are preventable, and the Illinois nursing home neglect lawyers at Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd. can help you assure the safety and comfort of your loved ones. To further protect them, please call us at (312) 313-2888 or contact us online.