The Dangers of “Bedsores”/Pressure Ulcers
Studies show that bedsores affect over 23% of nursing home patients. These wounds, while commonly called “bedsores,” are NOT caused by beds. They are caused by nurses, aides and home health aides who do not turn and reposition the bedbound, immobile and chair bound people they are supposed to be caring for. Beds don’t cause bedsores, unrelieved pressure on the buttocks, back, hips, heels and legs do. That’s neglect and it just shouldn’t happen.
What are “bedsores” and pressure ulcers?
When a patient has been in one position for an extended period of time, in most cases on their back, a lack of proper blood flow creates “pressure” causing ulceration in their skin tissue. The result is large, deep red pressure sores not unlike bruising. A pressure sore indicates that the patient hasn’t been moved or cared for regularly in bed or their wheelchair, perhaps even lying down on their back for days at a time with little to no break. These injuries are largely preventable with the right care. Nurses and caregivers are trained to reposition patients every 2 hours and keep an eye out for signs of bedsores.
Left untreated, “bedsores” can lead to a variety of health complications. Some of the dangers of bedsores are:
Bedsores left untreated can become a gateway to infection. Sepsis is a bacterial infection that affects the bloodstream and body tissue. Once in the blood, sepsis can lead to infection of vital organs and can result in life-threatening organ failure.
- Loss of Mobility
Pressure ulcers can make a bad situation worse – the extensive time that would be needed to recover from a bedsore can leave a patient immobile for an extended period of time.
Infections in a bedsore can spread to surrounding healthy layers of skin, leading to a deep tissue infection called cellulitis. Left untreated, cellulitis can become a life-threatening infection that spreads directly into the bloodstream.
- Bone / Joint Infection
Bone and joint infection could step form a bedsore and can require a heavy round of antibiotics to treat. In some cases, a surgical procedure would be needed to remove the affected area.
Bedsores are the result of gross neglect and should not be taken lightly.
New Jersey citizens are protected by the Nursing Home Bill of Rights – when malnourishment occurs, you have the right to demand that the nursing home do their job.
You don’t have to fight alone. If your mother, father, family member or friend has suffered from bedsores due to nursing home neglect or abuse, please fill out the contact form or call Barry Sugarman and the nursing home litigation team at Sugarman Law at 866-657-5660 to schedule your FREE consultation. Sugarman Law obtains compensation for those who suffer injuries and death from nursing home neglect and abuse.