In the U.S., approximately 1 million people develop bed sores on a yearly basis and 60,000 die from bed sore infections. According to data recently published by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), approximately 10% of U.S. nursing home residents suffer from bed sores.
Bed sores are also known as pressure sores and decubitus ulcers. Bedsores are created when skin and tissue break down from pressure and bad circulation. Areas most commonly affected include the hipbones, lower back, buttocks, elbows, heel, head and shoulder blades. Initially, skin inflames and becomes red. If untreated, open sores develop leading to muscle and bone destruction. Severe bedsores can lead to septic, gangrene or even death.
The quality of care a nursing home provides its patients can help minimize bedsores. Unfortunately, a nursing home's standard of care is not always up to par. This lack of care can lead to bedsores.
Bed sores are categorized by severity as follows:
- Stage 1 - Skin is red in color when relieved;
- Stage 2 - Loss of skin thickness with appearance of a blister or crater;
- State 3 - Deep skin crater is formed;
- State 4 - Bone or muscle tissue is exposed;
Serious bed sores are preventable. When nursing homes are understaffed, undertrained, underqualified, underpaid and overworked, the risk of patients suffering from severe bed sores, abuse and negligence escalate. When bed sores are an all too common of an occurrence in a nursing home facility, it is an indicator of other abuse and negligence that might be occurring. Some negligent nursing homes do not even realize the prevalence of bed sores in their facility until it's too late for their suffering patients. Severe bed sores can lead to death due to infections that may develop.
Common causes or contributors that can lead to nursing home bed sores include:
- Failure to move or reposition bed ridden patients every 2 hours;
- Failure to relieve pressure points;
- Failure to change wet bed sheets and blankets;
- Failure to provide softly padded wheelchairs,
- Failure to provide appropriate bed mattress;
- Failure to change patient's adult diapers as necessary;
- Failure to routinely check patients for signs of bed sores;
- Failure to alert patient's family;
- Failure to notify patient's doctor;
- Failure to treat patient's bedsores;
- Failure to provide proper nutrition and liquids.
You can reach Personal Injury Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected].