Nursing homes have a common problem among their patients, and they are known as bedsores or pressure ulcers. When the skin is being pressured for too long bedsores appear. Also known as pressure ulcers, bedsores are more prominent in elderly patients who are unable to move on their own or need to stay in the same position for extended periods of time.
Areas of the body that are anatomically ossified or bony tend to be more prone to bedsores than areas with more fat. The areas of the buttocks, heels, ankles, and such, are more prone to pressure sores. If a patient is found to be sitting or lying down for too long, bedsores may appear.
Nursing homes have the responsibility to ensure bedsores do not develop in patients who cannot move without restriction or that are confined to a wheelchair or bed. Pressure sores are preventable with proper care of the elderly nursing home patient. Nursing home staff needs to also be properly trained to care for the residents and avoid this annoyance.
Nonstop Pressure: If an elderly individual is in the same position for too long, whether in bed or a wheelchair, the friction between the skin and the surface may stop the blood flow, causing the pressure area to receive less oxygen, and thus causing the cells to die in that area. This is how bedsores will develop.
Shear Incidents: When one surface has movement while the other one is in a standstill, a shear may appear. This is mostly common in patients who are consistently lying down in a bed. Sinking may occur in a hospital bed when the top part of the body is raised while the rest is down. The skin then stretches causing injury to the tissue.
Friction Damage: Bedsores can also be caused by friction between aging skin and another surface. When an elderly person needs to be moved from a bed to a chair, friction might occur, damaging the skin and causing the pressure sores. If the nursing home staff is not careful and aware of the possible friction, the resident might suffer the consequences.
As mentioned before, pressure sores are a widespread problem among the elderly, especially in nursing home facilities, where staff members might have to be in charge of numerous residents at once and are unable to properly care for the patient.
Basic procedures must be in place to treat patients with bedsores in nursing home facilities. The staff should also recommend that the patients change their position at least every 15 minutes to avoid pressure sores. Also, those patients who are unable to move on their own should be moved by a staff member every 2 hours or so.
If negligence exists in a nursing home facility causing a patient to develop pressure sores, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit for compensation with a skilled attorney. Neglect might be happening if a staff member at the nursing home facility willfully does not reposition disabled patients regularly. This lack of movement is what can cause the dreadful bedsores that are very painful to the patient.