Bed Sores in Nursing Homes
Page last reviewed and updated: August 27, 2020
Bed sores or pressure ulcers are some of the most common, pervasive conditions in nursing homes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Because nursing home residents are often vulnerable due to mental and medical health issues, bed sores can become life-threatening situations. If you suspect a bed sore, you must quickly take action on behalf of your loved one.
Bed sores are skin and tissue injuries resulting from pressure on the skin. They are caused by decreased blood flow to the area. Bed sores typically develop on bony areas of the body, such as the tailbone/buttocks, ankle, heel, etc. Nursing home residents who are immobile or otherwise confined to a bed or wheelchair are at risk of developing bed or pressure sores.
Why Nursing Home Residents Get Bed Sores
Nursing home residents are often immobile for many reasons, which include:
- medical conditions which affect blood flow (i.e., diabetes),
- surgery recovery,
- injury recovery, and
For example, a nursing home resident in Pennsylvania develops a bed sore on her tailbone after undergoing a major medical procedure that requires her to be bed-ridden for several weeks. A bed sore develops because she is not turned or moved often enough by nursing home employees.
Other factors increase the risk of bed sores for nursing home residents in Pennsylvania and New Jersey: age, weight loss, dehydration/poor nutrition, and mental alertness.
Age: As we age, our skin loses elasticity and becomes generally drier. These factors increase the risk of bed sores during periods of immobility.
Weight Loss: Nursing home residents often lose weight due to any number of reasons, such as depression, neglect or medical conditions. With less fat and muscle covering bony areas, the risk of bed sores increases.
Dehydration/Nutrition: Inadequate nutrition or water intake affects overall health, including skin and tissues.
Mental Alertness: Individuals in nursing homes often suffer from health conditions or take medications which affect alertness. Decreased alertness can prevent a nursing home resident from taking actions to prevent bed sores or even realizing they have one.
Bed Sore Complications (Sepsis and Major Infections)
Bed sores are particularly dangerous because they can develop quickly and also progress quickly. Bed sores which progress in severity can cause serious infections in the skin, bones and joints.
In the worst cases, bed sores can lead to sepsis, a very dangerous condition which occurs when bacteria enters the bloodstream and causes an entire body infection. Nursing home residents with bed sores who develop sepsis often die in a matter of hours or days.
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About Our Nursing Home Injury Lawyers – Bed Sore Cases in PA & NJ
Our law firm takes great pride in handling bed sore cases in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. If you or a loved one suffered due to a bed sore in a nursing home or care facility, please call our office for a free consultation. (215) 985-0777