Nursing Homes and Bed Sores

By Patrick N. George

How many of us have ever gotten up on a work day and thought to ourselves, “I just want to stay in bed”?  How many of us on a weekend have spent the day lounging around, whether in bed or a recliner in front of the TV?  Occasionally, this indulgence is a wonderful refresher.  However, being confined to a bed or recliner can result in serious injury.

You have no doubt been to a nursing home and noticed that some of the patients are confined to their bed.  The caregivers in these institutions must be aware of the danger of decubitus ulcers on these fragile patients.  These ulcers are commonly knowns as “bed sores” and are much easier to prevent than to cure.  In fact, every year people pass away due to infections from bed sores that never get treated properly.  A bed sore usually occurs over an area where the bone is close to the surface.  This causes pressure on the skill from both the bone and the outside environment.

If you have a critically ill person in your family and he or she is going to a nursing home, it is important to know about bed sores.  Check with your provider to make sure that they are regularly turning the individual.  This will redistribute pressure away from the bone which is pressing on the skin.

Re-positioning a person in their bed or wheelchair is just one step to preventing bed sores.  Another is to ensure that your loved one is eating a balanced diet with enough protein.  It is also important that the skin stay dry.

Unfortunately, bed sores, or pressure ulcers as they may also be called, are fairly common.  The sore itself may have several stages from merely a red color to a deep tissue injury and open sore.

The healing time for a bed sore is about eight weeks depending on the severity of the sore.  Unfortunately, some people do not survive the injury.  The sores get progressively worse, infected, and the person is unable to recover.  This is unfortunate because the injury is largely preventable if the caregiver is aware of the issue, is faithful in rotating the person, and ensuring that he or she eats a balanced diet.  If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of these sores, you need to seek the help of an experienced attorney in this area.  Idaho statutes can be confusing on malpractice, and professional guidance is important.

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