Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Chicago, IL

Are Bedsores a Sign of Nursing Home Neglect?

Sores develop when residents aren’t moved every 1 or 2 hours.

Nursing home residents are more susceptible to developing bedsores than most. However, if cared for properly, bedsores should not develop.

That’s why when nursing home residents sustain bedsores, it is often a sign of severe neglect. When neglect leads to bedsores, it should be reported, and an experienced nursing home neglect lawyer should be consulted right away.

In Illinois, here’s what you need to know about bedsores, how they develop, and what to do if your loved one developed bedsores in a nursing facility.

What causes bed sores in nursing home residents?

Bedsores, also known as pressure sores or pressure ulcers, are a type of injury caused by prolonged pressure on the skin leading to skin and underlying tissue damage. They can also develop due to light or rough friction (rubbing) or if a resident “slides” down in their bed or chair, thereby over-stretching blood vessels and setting the scene for sores.

Nursing homes and care facilities can prevent bedsores by limiting pressure over bony parts and helping residents change positions often. In general:

  • Residents in bed should have their position changed at least every 2 hours.
  • Residents in chairs should be moved every hour.

Staff should also take steps to reduce rubbing on residents’ skin by making sure they are lifted – not dragged – to be repositioned.

What are bed sore stages?

Bedsores can form on any body part that comes into prolonged contact with a surface. They are most likely to develop on skin that covers bony areas of the body, such as the ankles, heels, hips, and tailbone, as well as the buttocks and shoulder area. There are four levels or “stages” of severity with this type of injury:

  • Stage 1 – The bedsore is red and possibly hard or warm to the touch. Bedsores should never be allowed to develop past this stage – if at all.
  • Stage 2 – This is the most common type of bedsore among nursing home residents. Stage 2 bedsores involve skin that has cracked open, and there may be a blister or puss under the sore.
  • Stage 3 – The sore has progressed and is now in the tissue below the exterior layer of skin or “dermis.” The injury may look like a crater, and the color may change to black.
  • Stage 4 – If a bed sore goes untreated for long enough, it may spread beyond skin tissues and into the bones, muscles, and ligaments of the affected areas. At this stage, the bed sore may have become fatal. Festering bed sores may result in sepsis or osteomyelitis (bone inflammation).

Symptoms that a bedsore is developing may include redness, itchiness, swelling, tenderness, changes in skin color or texture, and skin that feels cool or warm to the touch.

Nursing home cases involving bedsores and neglect

If you suspect your loved one developed bedsores due to nursing home neglect, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit to hold the nursing home accountable. However, you need to act quickly. Strong evidence to build a successful legal case can disappear or be destroyed if you wait too long.

Our Chicago nursing home neglect attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of people in nursing homes throughout Illinois. Contact us for your free evaluation today.

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