Bedsores are injuries to the underlying layer of tissue due to a lack of mobility, frequently caused either illness or age causing the immobility of an individual over prolonged periods of time. When a low to mobility nursing home resident is not being monitored on a regular basis and receiving regular body repositioning regimens, body fluids such as sweat or urine add to the skin irritation eventually causing bedsores or pressure ulcers. Bedsores have several stages and progress rather quickly. For nursing home patients, it is crucial that upon the discovery of any bedsores adequate treatment and attention is provided. Medically and legally speaking, stage one (1) bedsores are more of a warning that that a family member or patient is being neglected.
For concerned staff members, family members, and friend of nursing home patient, bedsores are usually warning signs that a family member or patient is not receiving the necessary care from the nursing home staff. Since bedsores do progress so rapidly, stage 1 bedsores or pressure ulcers may not necessarily mean a patient or resident is being completely neglected, however, if left untreated, these ulcers or sores are serious medical risks that will not resolve on their own.
If a family has the following symptoms, they may be experiencing early onset development of bedsore injuries and treatment should be sought immediately.
Treatment for stage 1 bedsores or pressure ulcers mainly focuses on taking the pressure off the area that appears to be discolored, or is otherwise exhibiting signs of ongoing bedsore development. Taking the pressure off the area can involve changing position more frequently, or if required, locating patients more fitting mattresses or wheelchairs. A physician should always provide medical treatment to any open wounds, sores or lesion, which may be the case in the later end of the Stage One (1) bedsore. In cases of open wounds, topical antibiotics should be applied with appropriate bandaging that seeks to remove pressure from the wound, while also preventing infection during the healing process. Finally, if possible for patients, physician’s recommend improving one’s overall health via improving one’s nutritional diet and seeking treatment for any other medical conditions that may be adding to the rapid progression of bedsores will also generally aid in the healing process.
The best treatment available for pressure ulcers and stage one (1) bedsores is prevention. Preventing especially stage one (1) bedsores requires a consistent pattern and practice of a reasonable standard of care in given nursing home facility. Typically a reasonable standard of care vis a vis preventing bedsores in non-ambulatory patients includes: instructing nursing staff to ensure resident obtains adequate movement during each day, instructing staff to ensure daily patient hygiene, encouraging patient movement during the day, and finally, inspecting patient’s for bedsores on a regular basis as part of any ongoing medical health coverage at a given facility.
Stage 1 bedsores or pressure ulcers should be tended to immediately, medically speaking, and as such, the potential damages recoverable in successfully treated Stage One (1) bedsore cases is comparably low. However, if the nursing home staff or even a family member discovers these sores treatment and care ultimately needs to be provided. If it is clear that a patient or resident is being neglected regardless of discovering bedsores then filing a lawsuit for negligence may be the only course of action to ensure adequate and appropriate medical care for the patient in the future. Failure to properly monitor, prevent or treat a resident or patient’s injuries are all grounds for starting legal proceeding with stage one (1) bedsores generally being indicative of a some level of negligent neglect.