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Nursing Home Dilemma: Are Bed Sores Preventable?

Bed sores sound painful, and they are not only that, they also look a little funky. But calling it dangerous is an exaggeration, surely?  After all, how bad can constantly lying in bed be? As it turns out, it can get pretty bad.

The medical terms for bed sores include pressure sores, pressure ulcers, and decubitus ulcers. As you can probably discern, bed sores are skin lesions mostly caused by constant pressure on bony or cartilaginous areas of the body when a patient does not shift position i.e. comatose. It can also be aggravated by constant friction, high humidity, incontinence, and some medications. The most commonly affected parts are the knees, pelvic area, ankles, and elbows.

Prior to 1950, when a British nurse discovered that the best way to treat and prevent bed sores was to turn the patient over every two hours, bed sores were a major cause of deaths for at-risk hospital patients. Even with modern medicine and healthcare practices, however, bed sores continue to be one of the top causes of unexpected deaths in the US.

According to medical professionals, it is almost impossible to prevent bed sores from starting for patients who are bedfast and unable to change position without assistance even with competent nursing care. If that is the case, nursing homes in Wisconsin should not be held liable for at-risk residents developing bed sores.

The negligence does not typically lie in the fact of bed sores developing per se but for the failure of staff to follow protocol to prevent it for residents with mobility problems and the failure to arrest the progress of the condition, which past the early stages can go very rapidly and can be very difficult to treat. Severe cases of bed sores not only affect the skin but the tissue and bone in the immediate area, which in turn can lead to fatal infections.

If a family member is a resident at a nursing home in Wisconsin and has developed bed sores, you should inform the nursing home administration about it so that they can take action. If they fail to do anything and the condition worsens, you should pull out your relative if possible and file a case against the facility for negligence with the help of a competent Wisconsin nursing home abuse attorney.

The Functions of a Family Doctor

It is said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Family medicine, which in earlier times referred to what a general practitioner (GP) handled, is a specialty that aims to promote the general health of all members of the family and to prevent disease. It is a continuing process which emphasizes preventive care in the community and in the family setting.

Back in the day, the family doctor went from house to house to do general check-ups and administer vaccinations and immunizations as needed, and to treat disease such as colds, flu, most childhood maladies which do not require hospitalization or a specialist. Currently, GPs in the U.S. no longer do house calls but instead families troop into family health clinics for primary health care.

It is no secret that health care costs are rising, and the U.S. is in crisis because of the problem of the costs of caring for its citizenry. It is estimated that the U.S. spends more on health care per capita than any other country, and yet the quality of the health care ranks last among the developed countries. There is thus a greater emphasis on preventive health care, which will lower overall health care costs in the country by at least $4 billion annually. Currently, the average American will spend more than $8,000 a year for treatments and hospitalization.

The importance of family medicine cannot be overstressed, and yet most people do not see the value of it until they get sick. Many of the chronic diseases that plague Americans today can be traced back to a lack of general preventive care. This includes heart problems, diabetes, back pain, obesity, and liver diseases. The costs of having regular primary care for the family from a qualified GP will be offset multiple times by savings from expensive treatments and hospitalizations in the future.