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Dangerous Bedsores: What Relatives of Nursing Home Residents Need to Know

When serious bedsores are neglected, nursing home residents can experience serious injury or even death.

It got to the point where your loved one was no longer safe at home. She needed more care than your family could provide her. Together, you made the decision to move her to a nursing home so that she would get the care that she needed to be safe, to be comfortable, and to prevent complications.

And Then She Developed a Bedsore

Bedsores are a potential danger for people who have difficulty moving. According to the Mayo Clinic, bedsores can develop when pressure is put on a specific area of skin for too long. For example, if a nursing home resident has difficulty moving and is confined to bed or to a wheelchair, then the same parts of her body may be consistently under pressure. If a bedsore develops it can be difficult to treat. Infection can set in quickly and become life threatening.

However, bedsores are not inevitable. Many bedsores can be prevented if:

  • The resident is kept clean and dry.
  • The resident is regularly repositioned in her bed or wheelchair.
  • The resident had adequate nutrition.
  • Nursing home staff checks the resident for bedsores often, so that any bedsores can be treated promptly.
  • A bedsore assessment is done when the nursing home resident enters the facility and after any significant change in her medical condition or medication.
  • The recommendations of the bedsore assessment are followed by nursing home staff.

It is easier to prevent a bedsore than it is to treat one. However, nursing home staff have a responsibility not only to prevent bedsores, but also to identify bedsores and to get patients prompt treatment for them if they develop.

What to Do If Your Loved One Has a Bedsore

If your loved one developed a bedsore while she was a resident in a nursing home, then the first thing that you need to do is to get her medical care. After that, it is important to determine why the bedsore developed in the first place and to take appropriate actions to keep your loved one safe in the future. That many mean that it is time to find another nursing home for your loved one or it may mean that it is time to consider a nursing home malpractice case. Please read the related links on this page for more information about keeping your loved one safe.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham