Bed sores, also known as pressure ulcers or decubitus, are one of the most commonly cited signs of neglect in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Medical professionals are obligated by both Pennsylvania state and federal law, to meet the needs of their residents. One of their essential duties is the frequent repositioning of immobile patients. If this task is not adequately performed, bed sores can quickly form, causing pain, infection, and death in severe cases.
What Are Bed Sores (Pressure Ulcers)?
Decubitus, pressure sores, or bed sores are wounds on the skin caused by extended periods of pressure. They begin as minor cuts or scrapes and, with proper care, can be treated easily. But if the patient is neglected, not moved often enough or the minor cuts are left uncared for, the once-small bed sores can develop into large, infected wounds. Bed sores literally eat away at the skin, tissue, and muscle and can even affect bone. When left untreated, bed sores are a source of extreme pain.
Bed Sores: Where To Check
Bed sores can appear wherever nursing home residents and patients have prolonged contact with the surface of their bed. The most common areas of the body include:
- Feet (heels)
- Shoulder blades
- Sacrum (base of spine)
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Bed Sore Care & Treatment
Bed sores are entirely preventable. Their main cause, as previously mentioned, is continuous pressure. If someone is at risk of developing pressure sores, they should be turned or repositioned at least every two hours. After pressure sores develop, proper hygiene, including frequent bathing, nutrition, and hydration are essential to prevent them from worsening. These are all express duties of the medical professionals at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
What Should I Do If I’ve Found A Bed Sore?
Did you discover a bed sore on your loved one? It may be a sign of elder abuse. Contacting a nursing home lawyer in Philadelphia is your best chance for securing the justice that your family member deserves.
Contact A Philadelphia Nursing Home Neglect Attorney
As experienced elder abuse and neglect attorneys, the lawyers at PA Nursing Home Lawyers frequently handle cases involving bed sores. Contact us immediately to schedule your free consultation. Please call (215) 563-2499 or visit our contact form.