Bedsores & Pressure Sores in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living

Bedsores, also called pressure sores or pressure ulcers, result from prolonged pressure on the skin.  They can cause injuries to the skin as well as underlying tissues and can become quite serious.  At their beginning stages, bedsores can cause pain or changes to skin temperature and coloration at the site of the pressure sore.  As they progress, bedsores in the elderly can result in damaged or lost skin and, at their most advanced, can penetrate skin layers so deeply as to expose muscle, bone and tendons.  If your loved ones is exhibiting signs of bedsores or nursing home neglect please call an experienced New York City elder abuse attorney.  The Personal Injury Attorneys at the Orlow Firm have helped many New Yorkers recover damages from nursing home abuse.

Call for a free consultation (646) 647-3398.

Risk Factors for Bedsores & Pressure Sores

Bedsores most affect people of limited mobility.  For those in a Nursing Home or Assisted living facility who frequently use a wheelchair, sensitive areas include the skin at tailbone or buttocks, shoulder blades and spine, and the backs of arms and legs. For those confined to bed, common sites include hip, lower back or tailbone, heels, ankles and skin behind the knees, shoulder and shoulder blades, back and sides of head, and rim of the ears.

Assisted Living and Nursing Home Residents with Bedsores & Pressure Sores

More than one in ten nursing home residents suffer from bedsores.  Generally, the skin of older adults is thinner, drier, less elastic and more fragile than that of younger people.  Also, due to poor health, weakness, sedation and loss of sensory perception, nursing home residents find it difficult to change position while seated or in bed. In addition, loss of fat and muscle means there is less cushioning between the bones and the surface of a bed or wheelchair.  Those residents who experience urinary or fecal incontinence are at increased risk of pressure sores because frequent moisture causes skin to break down more easily.  When bacteria from fecal matter enter the wound, the resulting infection can be life-threatening.

Preventing Bedsores & Pressure Sores in Nursing Homes

Upon admission to a nursing home, all residents should be checked for existing bedsores and treated.  During their nursing home stay, residents confined to wheelchairs should be repositioned every 15 minutes. Those confined to bed should be repositioned every hour or two.  A variety of special cushions, pads, mattresses, and beds can help protect fragile skin and relieve pressure on existing sores.  Skin should be inspected daily and kept clean and dry.  Good nutrition prevents weight loss and helps maintain proper levels of vitamins and minerals in the diet.  Daily exercise promotes better circulation and helps to prevent loss of muscle.

Contact a New York City Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Experienced in Bedsores & Pressure Sores

If your loved one is in a nursing home and suffers from frequent or untreated bedsores, it may be a sign of neglect.  Consult an attorney experienced in these matters to see whether legal action is needed.

Call for a free consultation (646) 647-3398.