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Why bedsores are indicative of neglect

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | Nursing Home Injury

If you or a loved one had an extended stay at a nursing home, step-down unit or other long-term care facility, one serious problem you might have encountered is bedsores. Also known by the medical term decubitus ulcers, a serious bedsore is a harbinger of caregiver neglect.

Read on to learn more about how bedsores pose a risk for sedentary and elderly patients. 

Bedsores are avoidable

The best way to prevent bedsores in patients is frequent repositioning. The constant pressure of a wheelchair or bed against the patient’s skin (particularly in the bony or weight-bearing areas) creates ulcerative sores.

They also develop quickly, sometimes within hours. That’s why each shift of nurses and other caregivers must scrupulously document and treat any evidence of color changes to the skin and pay particular attention to any skin tears. These are the earliest signs of bedsores, and if treatment commences immediately, the patient’s outcome is quite good.

Where the trouble begins

Failing to note the symptoms and visible signs of a simple bedsore allows it to worsen and get infected. At this point, the patient is at risk of developing sepsis, a life-threatening condition that causes the vital organs to shut down.

For caregivers and medical personnel to allow the situation to progress past the initial stages of a bedsore is unconscionable and goes against the standard of care for the healthcare industry. 

What patients can do

For patients “lucky” enough to survive sepsis from a bedsore, their quality of life may never again be the same. They can suffer permanent, irreversible effects to their damaged organs.

Holding the negligent parties liable for their neglect may make their lives somewhat easier, while also discouraging the facilities from providing substandard care to future patients.

 

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