Are Untreated Bedsores Considered Nursing Home Negligence?
October 6, 2020 Published in Nursing Home Neglect
Decubitus ulcers, more commonly called bedsores, are painful wounds that occur on the skin of individuals with limited mobility. Nursing home residents who are wheelchair-bound or bedridden and those suffering from circulation problems, diabetes, or malnutrition have the highest risk of developing bedsores. Nursing home staff must take steps to prevent bedsores from occurring and properly treat bedsores that do occur. Bedsores that are not properly addressed can develop into deep wounds that may become dangerously infected. In extreme cases, untreated bedsores can lead to fatal complications. If a nursing home’s negligence leads to a resident’s injury or death, the facility may be held accountable through a nursing home injury claim.
Nursing Home Staff Should Take Steps to Prevent Bedsores
Bedsores occur when an area of skin is under pressure for too long. Because blood cannot reach the skin, it begins to die. A bedsore begins as a painful red area. If untreated, the sore becomes worse and worse, developing into an open wound. In extreme cases, the wound may extend into the muscle and bone. Bedsores can lead to serious infections, sepsis, and even death.
There are several steps that nursing home staff can take to prevent bedsores from occurring, including:
Repositioning residents who are unable to move themselves at least every two hours to relieve pressure to the skin
Padding wheelchairs and beds
Keeping residents’ skin clean and dry
Ensuring residents are eating enough and receive proper nutrition
If a bedsore does develop, nursing home staff should monitor the wound closely and keep the wound clean and properly dressed. If the bedsore becomes infected, additional medical treatment including antibiotic medication may be necessary.
Neglect Can Lead to Dangerous Bedsore Complications
Understaffing and insufficient staff training can often lead to poor resident care. Staff who are overworked or uneducated about bedsore prevention and treatment may ignore the signs of a developing bedsore. This leads to preventable resident suffering as well as a significant risk of infection and other medical complications. Some nursing home residents have even passed away from untreated bedsores. If nursing home negligence leads to a resident’s injury or death, the nursing home may be liable for the harm caused. The nursing home resident or a family member may bring a nursing home injury claim and pursue financial compensation.
Contact a Bloomington Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer
Nursing home residents should never have to suffer because of neglectful nursing home staff. If your loved one was harmed due to nursing home negligence, contact the skilled legal team of Kanoski Bresney to talk about your legal options. Call us today at 888-826-8682 to schedule a free, confidential consultation with an experienced Champaign nursing home injury attorney.