Indiana Injury Lawyer Blog

Bed Sores and Nursing Home Negligence

Patients or nursing home residents who spend much of their time confined to a bed or chair are especially at risk of pressure sores, more commonly known as bed sores. A nursing home can be held accountable for negligence resulting in pressure ulcers or bed sores.

Beds sores are bruises or injuries to the patient’s skin that are caused when the skin has been in contact with a surface for a long period of time. These sores are caused when persons do not shift their position to allow for proper circulation of blood. There are some areas of the body that are at a higher risk of bed sores. For example, the knees, ankles, and hip areas may be more prone to pressure sores.  The kind of position that the patient is in for long periods of time can decide the location of the bed sores. Fore example, a person in a wheelchair is much more likely to develop sores on his buttocks, while a person who lies prone in bed may develop sores on the back of the head or shoulder blades.

Symptoms of bed sores include swelling and discoloration of the skin. Some types of bed sores are easy to treat and may heal easily. In other cases, however, complications may develop. These complications may even be life- threatening. When there is no blood flow to an area, the tissue may even die. Bed sores that cause open wounds can cause bacteria to enter the blood stream, placing the person at risk for infections.

One of the best ways to prevent bed sores is to change the person’s position after a couple of hours   in a single position. Nursing home patients are not always in a position to do this by themselves, and may need assistance to turn over or move their position. Bed sores are an entirely preventable condition. They occur because the person was not repositioned often enough to prevent the blockage of blood flow to the region, causing the pressure ulcer.

Nursing home staff should take steps to ensure that patients receive the care they need in order to prevent the development of bed sores.  If your loved has developed bed sores at a nursing home facility, there is plenty that you can do to protect him or her. Make sure that the nursing home is made aware of the patient’s pressure sores immediately. File a complaint with the management. Make sure that your loved one receives treatment for the sores.