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What Are Bedsores?

On Behalf of Gierth-Eddy Law Offices, PLLC Aug. 2, 2022

You expect quality care from the nursing home tasked with caring for an elderly loved one. And while the majority of facilities do take patient care seriously, major issues may rise when staff is derelict in their duties.

When it comes to bedridden or immobile residents, protection against bedsores must be an ongoing process. While this condition begins as a relatively minor skin irritation, it can quickly develop into something with serious health ramifications.

How Do Bedsores Form?

Most bedsores result from a combination of three issues: friction, shearing, and pressure. Friction occurs when a person’s skin rubs against fabric, such as their clothing or blanket. Shearing happens when the skin and another bodily tissue like bone move in opposite directions, which can occur when a person is moving around a bed. Lastly, pressure on certain areas of the body decreases blood flow and makes the area more vulnerable to injury.

In addition to the developing bedsore, patients can also experience other complications if proper treatment is not provided. It is possible for the wound to penetrate through the skin and deep into the bone. More serious skin infections can also occur, including cellulitis. There is also a risk that the untreated sore can develop into squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer.

How Can Nursing Home Staff Prevent Them?

Staff must change the resident’s clothing and bedding must on a daily basis to keep bedsores at bay. Staff must also move the person must also several times a day to relieve pressure on different areas of their body. Proper skin care is also crucial, as clean, dry, and moisturized skin is less likely to develop issues.

The presence of bedsores does not always indicate that staff is negligent when it comes to patient care. When they occur repeatedly, it is often a sign that the patient is not receiving the care they deserve.