Causes of Bedsores in Maryland Nursing Homes

Bedsores are sores that form on the surface of the body when pressure is applied to one area of skin. Normally, fat can prevent a body part from developing bedsores, but in areas of the body where there is little to no fat for insulation, such as the elbows or knees, bedsores can develop. Fortunately, they can be prevented and treated with relative ease.

Bedsores are often a sign of neglect in skilled nursing facilities, especially when several patients in the same facility develop sores. One of the most common causes of bedsores in Maryland nursing homes is neglect from nursing home staff members, but there are other causes as well.

Call an attorney today if you believe your bedsores are related to nursing home neglect.

Bedsore Causes and Risk Factors

Bedsores can impact anyone of any age, but in reality, certain factors can cause a person to be at greater risk. Some of the most common causes of bedsores in Maryland nursing homes include:

  • Immobility – When a person is unable to move themselves and are left in bed or in a wheelchair for an extended period of time, they can quickly develop bedsores. The sores appear when the skin is pressed against a surface, such as a mattress, for a considerable amount of time.
  • Medical Conditions – Certain medical conditions, such as vascular disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes can increase the risk of bedsore development.
  • Decreased Sensory Perceptions – Patients suffering from neurological disorders, paralysis, or nerve damage may not be able to feel sores forming on their bodies. Often, by the time sores are discovered on these individuals, they have progressed to a more serious stage.
  • Poor Hydration – Healthy and resilient skin requires water on a regular basis, and if a patient does not properly hydrate themselves, their tissue will break down easier. Poor hydration is one of the leading causes of bedsores.

If a patient is properly hydrated, rotated, and cared for, more than likely, they will not develop bedsores. If a patient does develop bedsores, nursing home staff members should seek medical care immediately.

Preventing Bedsores in Elderly Patients

As stated above, bedsores are preventable. To prevent bedsores, the skin of patients should be kept clean and dry to limit its exposure to moisture and bacteria. The skin should be inspected for warning signs of bedsores on a regular basis, and if a patient is prone to developing sores, lotions and powers can be applied at friction points, such as elbows and ankles.

The periodic repositioning of patients can prevent the formation of bedsores. When repositioning, patients and nursing home staff members should remember to:

  • Keep the elevation of beds no more than 30 degrees.
  • Help patients to lift themselves (if possible).
  • Shift weight approximately every 15 minutes.
  • Select pressure-relieving mattresses and seat cushions.

As long as the body is properly positioned, patients will have little chance of developing bedsores.

Preventing bedsores is the responsibility of nursing home staff members and administrators. Later stage bedsores can be remarkably painful and expensive to treat, and if they are caused by neglect, the nursing home should be held liable for their actions.

Learn More About the Causes of Bedsores in Maryland Nursing Homes

Developing bedsores can be a painful and traumatic experience. Often, more advanced sores require extensive surgical treatment, which leaves already infirm patients in even poorer health. No patient should suffer nursing neglect at the hands of a nursing home, and if they do, they should be able to get the justice they deserve.

Learn more about the causes of bedsores in Maryland nursing homes by contacting an attorney today.