Most residents in nursing facilities can’t move around on their own. They may be confined to their bed or a wheelchair, and it can be difficult for them to shift their weight of their body. When a body part is experiences persistent pressure, bed sores can develop. Staff members must take extra precaution to prevent the development of bed sores, such as flipping the resident over.
What are bedsores?
According to John Hopkins, bedsores can form when a person is, “bedridden or otherwise immobile, unconscious, or unable to sense pain.” Bedsores happen on areas of the skin that are under pressure from lying in bed or wheelchair for an extended period of time.
If an immobile or bedridden resident is not turned or positioned properly, given proper nutrition and skin care, bedsores can develop into one of four stages.
What causes bedsores?
Bedsores develop when blood supply to a person’s skin is cut off for more than 2 to 3 hours. Depending on the severity of the bed sore, the person’s physical condition and depending on if they have any underlying diseases, bedsores can take days, months, or years to heal.
What are the symptoms of bedsores?
Bedsores have 4 stages, ranging from least severe to most severe:
- Stage 1. The area is red and warm to touch. On darker skin, the area may have a blue or purple tint. During this stage, a person may complain that it hurts, itches, or burns.
- Stage 2. The area begins to look more damaged and have an open sore, scrape or blister.
- Stage 3. The area has a crater-like appearance because of the damage below the skin’s surface.
- Stage 4. The area is severely damaged, and a large wound is present. Infection is a significant risk at this stage.
How are bedsores diagnosed?
A healthcare provider or physician can diagnose bedsores by inspecting the person’s skin. According to their appearance is what stage the person is at.
How do you treat bedsores?
A healthcare provider will discuss specific treatment options based on the severity of the person’s condition. Healthcare professionals are supposed to monitor the bedsore closely and document the size, depth, and response to treatment. Treatment can include:
- Keeping the wound clean
- Ensuring good nutrition
- Removing pressure on the affected area
- Protecting the wound with gauze
- Medication, such as antibiotics
How can bedsores be prevented?
By examining the skin closely and looking for areas of redness, aparticularly in bony areas. Other methods include:
- Turning and repositioning a resident every 2 hours
- Sitting up-right in a wheelchair, repositioning roughly every 15 minutes
- Provide good skin care
- Provide good nutrition
What to do if I’ve found bed sores on myself or a loved one?
To prove negligence or abuse has happened to a resident, you will need an experienced nursing home neglect and abuse attorney. Our team has proven success in nursing home cases and will use our extensive legal experience to help you navigate the process and to get you full and fair compensation for you or your loved one’s injuries. To get a free consultation, please call (312) 384-1920 or contact us via our website at www.dinizululawgroup.com.