Bed sores are extremely painful. They can be sign of poor care and attention from staff. They can further complicate a medical situation that is already very complex. It’s important for you to understand this problem so you can help to ensure the proper care of your loved ones.
A bed sore is a wound on the skin caused by pressure. The first stage of the sore results in redness. The second state is a more open wound. The third stage is deep and involves muscles, and phase four is more severe involving the bone, tissue, and nerves.
42. C. F.R. 483 is a federal regulation that provides that a nursing home should not allow pressure sores unless the medical condition makes it unavoidable. Courts have held that most pressure sores are avoidable and can be prevented by turning the patient every two hours. What is needed to avoid the sore is releaving pressure to allow blood flow to potentially affected areas.
Of course, particular medical conditions will make a resident more at risk for bed sores than others, but even then, with proper treatment, these sores can be avoided. When medical providers came together to attempt consensus on this issue, they also have indicated that most bed sores are avoidable. For further reading see “Pressure Ulcers: Avoidable Or Unavoidable? Results Of The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel.”
Medical providers need to:
- Evaluate the risk
- Define a plan
- Monitor, evaluate, and revise the plan
For information about bed sores and nursing home negligence, click here.