What are the Risk Factors for Bed Sores in Nursing Homes?
Bed sores, also known as pressure ulcers or pressure sores, are wounds in the skin that develop when excessive force is placed on the skin over a significant period of time. Among seniors in nursing homes, neglect is the main cause of bed sores.
Limited mobility is the biggest risk factor for bed sores. When a nursing home patient cannot move on their own, friction and pressure can quickly build and cause bed sores. However, there are other factors that place a nursing home resident at increased risk of bed sores, too. Below, our Tampa bed sores attorney explains what these are.
What Places a Nursing Home Resident at Risk of Bed Sores?
There are many factors that place a nursing home resident at risk of developing bed sores. These include:
- Improper nutrition: Without proper nutrition, the skin can become fragile and unhealthy, according to the Mayo Clinic. This can lead to a heightened risk of bed sores.
- Excess moisture: In order to stay healthy, the skin must be properly moisturized. When there is too much moisture on the skin, though, it increases the risk of friction, which can result in bed sores. Skin should always be kept dry and clean to avoid bed sores.
- Decreased sensitivity: If a person cannot properly sense pain and they remain in the same position for long periods of time, it can result in bed sores. Nervous system diseases and spinal cord injuries can all result in decreased sensitivity.
- Improper blood flow: According to the Mayo Clinic, certain medical conditions can reduce blood flow, increasing the risk of bed sores. Studies have found that people with diabetes are almost two times more likely to develop a bed sore than those who did not suffer from the condition.
Bed Sore Prevention in Nursing Homes
Just because a nursing home resident is at risk of developing bed sores does not mean it is an automatic outcome. Nursing home staff members have a responsibility to try and prevent bed sores to the best of their ability. Some of the most common ways to prevent bed sores are as follows:
- Turn and reposition nursing home residents every two hours
- Making sure patients are sitting straight and upright in wheelchairs, and making sure their position is changed every 15 minutes
- Ensuring wheelchairs and beds have soft paddings to limit pressure
- Providing proper skin care by making sure skin is kept dry and clean
- Offering proper nutrition that has enough calories, minerals, vitamins, protein, and fluids, which prevents bed sores and helps them to heal more quickly if they develop
When nursing home residents do not take the proper measures to prevent bed sores from forming, the facility can be held liable.
Our Bed Sores Attorney in Tampa Can Hold Nursing Homes Accountable
If your loved one has developed bed sores while in a nursing home, they may be entitled to financial compensation. At Kohn Law, our Tampa bed sores attorney can ensure they receive the maximum settlement they deserve and that their rights are upheld. Call us now at 813-428-8504 or contact us online to request a free case review.