Pressure Ulcers in Nursing Home Residents: A Common but Worrisome Problem

November 7, 2023 Accident

Pressure Ulcers in Nursing Home Residents: A Common but Worrisome Problem

Pressure ulcers are areas of irritated or broken skin at a site on the body where the bone puts pressure on the adjacent soft tissues when the person remains in the same position for a long period of time. They are also known as bed sores and decubitus ulcers. They tend to form on the hips, buttocks, heels, lower back, or the back of the head. In addition to being painful, pressure ulcers can also become infected, which means that they pose a serious threat to nursing home residents who are already in a vulnerable state of health.

In order to stop a patient’s pressure ulcers from getting infected and to promote healing, caregivers must keep the affected area clean and change the dressings frequently. If a nursing home resident develops pressure ulcers, it can be a sign that they are not receiving proper care or that there are bigger problems in the nursing home. If you are concerned that a family member of yours has developed pressure ulcers in a nursing home, contact a personal injury lawyer.

Risk Factors for Pressure Ulcers

Healthy, able-bodied people do not develop pressure ulcers. The discomfort of a bone pressing on soft tissues would cause a person to change positions if they were able to do so. Pressure ulcers most often develop when a patient needs help turning in bed or moving from a bed to a chair but does not receive the help that they needs. The following are risk factors for pressure ulcers:

  • Lack of sensation in the affected area because of paralysis or neuropathy
  • Poor nutrition, especially inadequate protein intake
  • Wearing adult diapers since they can cause skin irritation
  • Inability to stand or walk, even with assistance

Are Pressure Ulcers a Sign of Nursing Home Neglect?

You can prevent pressure ulcers from developing by helping patients change positions frequently.  Pressure ulcers were a leading cause of death in paralyzed patients before the guidelines went into effect, indicating that caregivers should turn the patient every two hours when the patient is in bed. Now, there are also customized wheelchairs designed to prevent pressure ulcers from forming.

An isolated incident in which a pressure ulcer forms and then heals is not necessarily a cause for alarm. Recurrent pressure ulcers or infected pressure ulcers are a cause for concern, however. Nursing homes where pressure ulcers are widespread also tend to be nursing homes with substandard infection control and where patients do not receive adequate nutrition. Contact a nursing home neglect lawyer to find out more about what you should do if your family member develops pressure ulcers while residing in a nursing home.

Contact Mansfield Melancon Cranmer & Dick About Nursing Home Abuse Cases

A nursing home abuse lawyer can help you if you are worried because an elderly family member of yours has developed pressure ulcers. Contact Mansfield Melancon Cranmer & Dick Injury Lawyers in Louisiana, to discuss your case.