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.

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