Causes of Bedsores in Washington DC Nursing Homes

Bedsores occur all too often in nursing homes, and yet they are preventable with good care. Bedsores can form quickly, and serious bedsores may never fully heal.

The causes of bedsores in Washington DC nursing homes may vary according to the patient’s condition, and the care received, but most bedsores reflect poor supervision on the part of the facility. Appropriate legal action can ensure nursing homes are held responsible for patients developing bedsores while under their care.

What are Bedsores

Bedsores are ulcers caused by pressure from prolonged immobility. These ulcers are also known as pressure ulcers, decubitus ulcers or pressure sores. These ulcers most often form on the hips, tailbone, lower back, buttocks, shoulders, back of the head, sides and back of the knees and the heels.

Bedsores on the heels most often form because of the patient’s footwear is not removed, or their feet are not moved while sitting in a wheelchair. Overall, bony areas are the most likely to develop bedsores.

Common Bedsore Causes

If there is constant pressure on any part of the body, that results in a lack of blood flow to the area. The affected part does not receive the nutrient and oxygen delivered by the blood, and tissue damage results. Anyone with limited mobility, whether it is due to being bedridden or in a wheelchair, is at risk for developing bedsores.

If a patient experiences urinary or bowel incontinence, bedsores are more likely to become infected. Very thin patients or obese patients have a higher risk of bedsore development than those of standard weight for their size. Patients diagnosed with immune or clotting disorders are at higher risk for bedsores.

If a patient is mentally incapacitated, they are also at increased risk for bedsore development, since they may not prove able to communicate that they are experiencing pain in the area.

Four Stages of Bedsores

Bedsores are staged in a system from one to four, with four the most severe. The staging involves:

Stage 1 – the affected skin appears red and is warm, and the imminent bedsore may resemble a rash. The patient feels pain and itchiness.

Stage 2 – an open wound appears. The pain is more significant and the skin around the ulcer is discolored.

Stage 3 – the area looks much worse, with a “crater” appearing. This deep indentation is due to changes below the skin surface.

Stage 4 – the ulcer is large, and infection is possible. By this stage, the ulcer may have affected the tendons, muscles, joints and bones.

Bedsore Prevention

The simplest way to prevent bedsores is by assuring a patient is turned or repositioned at least every two hours, and that their skin is inspected on a daily basis. Patients in wheelchairs should sit straight and upright, and have their positions changed every 15 minutes.

Patients also require proper skin care, so that their skin is always dry and clean. Good nutrition is also necessary, as vital nutrients can help prevent bedsore formation and aid in healing should a bedsore occur.

Talk to a DC Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has developed bedsores due to poor care at a Washington, DC nursing home, you need the services of experienced nursing home abuse and elder care lawyers. Call us today to arrange a consultation or contact us online. We can help you or your loved ones receive the compensation you deserve for your nursing home injuries.