For our aging loved ones, bed sores can be a serious and even deadly affliction. Also known as decubitus ulcers or pressure sores, bedsores can range in severity from superficial skin wounds to deep ulcers that expose bone. As though deep skin ulcers were not a severe enough issue, the Mayo Clinic describes complications that may arise from bed sores including:
- Sepsis – a life threatening condition that may result in organ failure
- Cellulitis – an infection of soft tissues causing pain, redness and swelling
- Bone and Joint Infections – an infection that resides deep in the bones resulting in reduced limb function
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma – a cancer that results from wounds that will not heal
In addition to the terrible pain and debilitating wounds, each bed sore complication described above can result in death. It is oftentimes difficult for elderly individuals to heal effectively, thus preventing bed sores can be a life or death matter.
Are Bed Sores Preventable?
As the name implies, pressure sores are caused by pressure on the skin. This pressure ultimately reduces blood flow resulting in a breakdown of the tissue. In addition to sustained pressure on the skin, friction and shear can be contributing factors as well. For example, a nursing home resident in an adjustable bed that tilts up or down may experience shear as the bed adjust against their body weight. If a nursing home caretaker handles an individual too roughly, the friction may be enough to damage skin that is already frail.
Data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that 11% of residents in nursing homes may have bed sores. Sometimes bedsores occur in nursing home residents despite good efforts, but there are still measures a nursing home care taker should follow to prevent bed sores. For example, encouraging the proper movement in residents with limited mobility is crucial to preventing bed sores. If an individual is bedridden or wheelchair bound, the patient must be repositioned every couple of hours.
What To Do If Your Loved One Develops Bedsores While in a Nursing Home?
While we hope that our aging or disabled loved ones would be treated properly in a nursing home, we know that oftentimes this is not the case. Unfortunately, many nursing homes fail their residents and let them fall victim to neglect or abuse, resulting in bedsores or far worse outcomes. As skilled nursing home neglect attorneys in Chicago, the Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. knows what the standard of care is for Illinois nursing homes. With over 50 years of combined experience, our nursing home abuse lawyers hold caregivers accountable for the injuries they have caused their residents.
Contact us by email or call us at 1-312-384-1920 or 1-800-693-1LAW to schedule a free consultation. Our nursing home abuse attorneys can build a case that brings justice and compensation for your injured loved ones.