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What Complications Occur with Bedsores?

On Behalf of Gierth-Eddy Law Offices, PLLC Jan. 27, 2021

While the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is quite difficult, it is definitely worthwhile if the person requires a higher level of care. Many nursing homes are fully dedicated to meeting the health needs of residents, while also ensuring they have the proper companionship and socialization.

When care is lacking, your loved one’s health can be seriously affected. This is especially true when bedsores develop. According to the Mayo Clinic, bedsores occur when an area of a person’s body is subject to repeated friction and pressure. This is a huge concern for people who are bedridden or those with decreased mobility, as they must have assistance moving around to prevent bedsores from forming. These injuries are also associated with more serious complications, which can significantly compromise your family member’s health and wellness.

Potential Complications Associated with Bedsores

While the initial sore will start as a red, irritated patch on the skin, without the right treatment they can penetrate through the skin and down to the bone. This increases the risk of infection within bones and joints, which can limit mobility even further when the effects are severe. Cellulitis is another type of infection that can occur. As a bacterial infection, cellulitis requires timely treatment with antibiotic medications. In some instances, people with long-term wounds can also develop a form of squamous cell carcinoma, which is a type of skin cancer.

How They Can Be Prevented

Nursing home residents who are bedridden or immobile must be frequently moved to remove pressure from different areas of their bodies. Their bedding and clothing must also be frequently changed. Skin must be washed with soap and water, and sufficiently dried before the person is dressed again. Additionally, nursing home staff is encouraged to inspect the skin of residents on a daily basis to detect any potential bedsores.

Staff at a nursing home have major responsibilities. When they fall short, action must be taken. Along with removing your loved one from their care and alerting the proper authorities, you may also consider taking legal action for any damage or injuries that have occurred.