Does Your Loved One Have Untreated Bedsores in a Nursing Home?

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Does Your Loved One Have Untreated Bedsores in a Nursing Home?

Bedsores may seem like a minor irritation, but they are actually deadly. Sadly, if you have a bedridden family member or friend in a nursing home, bedsores are all too common. Every time you visit your loved one, always check for sores or ask them if they have any red or irritated pressure points. You can’t be too careful. 

If ongoing or untreated bedsores are a problem plaguing your family or friend in nursing care, your loved one may be entitled to compensation. Discuss the situation with a nursing home lawyer in Chicago.

How Common Are Bedsores?

Considering how lethal they are, bedsores are far too common.

  • Roughly a quarter of people in nursing homes have bedsores.
  • 16% to 20% of ICU patients in our country will eventually develop bedsores.
  • About 30% of completely avoidable medical conditions acquired during hospital stays are bedsores.
  • More than a million bedsores were acquired in medical facilities in 2015 in the US. 

What Is a Bedsore? 

Bedsores are open wounds (a.k.a. pressure ulcers) that generally occur where bonier areas of the body experience constant pressure or friction on the bed surface. Unlike a rash or acne as the term may imply, bedsores are not mere “skin conditions.” Bedsores are most common on the posterior/glutes, elbows, heels, knees, and the outside of the ankles. These completely preventable sores are toxic and can lead to painful and fatal infections. In fact, bedsores are responsible for the death of “Superman” Christopher Reeve.

Preventing Bedsores

Before choosing a nursing facility for your loved one, ask about their bedsore procedures and how many patients they have currently suffering from them. What is their treatment protocol for bedsores? How often do they reposition bedridden patients? Do they use or allow water beds, which provide even pressure throughout the body? Also, watch for these things once your loved one starts living at the facility:

  • Your loved one’s skin should be dry and clean at all times. Sometimes people in a coma or with other bedridden conditions have trouble regulating their body temperatures and circulating their blood well. Far too many are constantly sweating. A bedridden patient who sweats all day long in their sheets requires constant bathing and repositioning. See if it’s possible to adjust their room’s temperature and/or bedding situation.
  • The bedridden person should be in loose-fitting comfortable clothing that does not restrict blood flow or dig into the skin (zippers, buttons, big seams).
  • Bedridden people need exercise to reduce fluids from stagnating in bonier areas and turning to sores. 
  • Ensure that pillows are placed between the knees and/or ankles when lying on the side of the body. Pillows can also be placed between the arm and the rib cage when lying on the side. When laying face-up, pillows can be placed under the knees to keep the heel bones off the mattress.
  • A bedridden person should never be positioned on their stomach. Even if they have been a stomach sleeper all of their life, this position puts too much pressure on the hip bones for someone who is now confined to a bed.
  • Solutions like memory foam mattress toppers, auto-inflating air mattresses, and sheepskin bed coverings can help reduce pressure on bony areas.

Need a Chicago Nursing Home Bedsore Attorney? Malman Law Can Help

If your loved one is experiencing stage 3, 4, or 5 bedsores and it has been an ongoing problem in their current nursing facility or hospital, please reach out to our Chicago bedsore lawyers right away. Contact Malman Law now for a free legal consultation.

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