Study Reveals the Dire Consequences of Inadequate Bed Sore Prevention in Nursing Homes
When a resident of a nursing home develops bed sores, it can be a serious symptom of neglect. While sometimes a nursing home facility will defend an elder care neglect lawsuit that involves serious complications from bed sores as a manifestation of certain medical conditions, bed sores typically can be prevented when patients in nursing homes receive adequate care. Bed sores are areas where the skin becomes damaged because of impaired circulation in areas where the skin is in close proximity to boney protrusions of the body. When bed sores are not treated promptly, they can lead to serious complications like sepsis, gangrene, osteomyelitis and even wrongful death.
A fairly recent UCLA study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found a direct correlation between bedsores and patient mortality rates as well as longer stays in hospitals. According to the research, patients who experienced bed sores endured prolonged periods of hospitalization, a higher risk of being re-admitted within thirty days and an increased risk of fatality. The study involved tracking 51,000 Medicare participants and found that pressure ulcers acquired in nursing homes and hospitals are an important risk factor correlated to patient mortality.
The lead researcher, Dr. Courtney Lydner, indicated that the results of the study make it incumbent that facilities have measures in place to identify those who have a heightened risk of developing pressure ulcers upon admission and to implement preventative intervention. The study also revealed that those with certain types of medical conditions face an elevated risk of developing bed sores, including those with cardiovascular disease, congestive heart failure, pulmonary disease, obesity and diabetes. Those who entered a facility with a bed sore were also more likely to develop at least one new bed sore.
Nursing homes should have procedures in place to prevent pressure ulcers, which include appropriate nutrition and hydration as well as sufficient staffing to ensure that residents are moved enough to prevent excessive periods of weight being borne by parts of the body prone to bed sores. When a loved one notices that a family develops a pressure ulcer while under the care of the nursing home, this may be a sign that nursing home staff members are not sufficiently turning residents confined to beds or wheelchairs.
If your loved one has suffered neglect in a nursing home or you have observed signs of potential neglect that give you cause for concern that your elderly family member is being neglected or abused in a Georgia nursing home, our Georgia nursing home attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including all smaller cities and rural areas in the state of Georgia.
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