Bed sores are also called pressure sores or decubitus ulcers. They are caused by continuous, unrelieved pressure on an area of the body. If the pressure is not relieved from time to time, the tissues will break down and a sore will form. These happen most often in patients who are confined to bed without changing their position. They can also occur in patients who must use wheelchairs and sit in the same position for hours without shifting their weight.
What do bed sores look like?
Bedsores usually begin as red, irritated spots. These can get worse if caregivers fail to change the patient’s position, and may become open, gaping sores that affect muscle and other tissues, sometimes even exposing the bone. They can become infected, and if the infection is not treated and cleared up promptly may result in death from sepsis (infection of the blood) or gangrene. Infections are more likely to occur when the environment is unsanitary and patients are neglected.
How are bed sores prevented?
Bed sores can easily be prevented by having caregivers assist patients in their personal hygiene and in changing their position regularly throughout the day. Bed sores should not occur in a proper care-giving situation. They cause immense pain and suffering to an elderly patient, which is unnecessary. Bed sores are a clear sign that the patient has been neglected and the level of care is substandard.
What can be done to assist the patient?
Anyone visiting a friend or family member in a nursing home who is suffering from bed sores should step in and demand a better level of care. If the sores have progressed beyond the very earliest stage, there is an obvious problem with the quality of care, and steps should be taken to remove the patient to a safer location. A person suffering from bed sores is in pain and at risk of death.
A patient whose condition has been allowed to deteriorate to the point of developing serious bed sores may be able to receive a monetary recovery to compensate for the pain and suffering and deterioration of health that this neglect has caused. No one should have to suffer from this painful and debilitating condition.
If you or a person you care about is residing in a Phoenix, Arizona, nursing home or other care facility for the elderly and has developed bed sores, you will need to consult a nursing home abuse lawyer to represent the interests of the victim in making a claim against the facility that has failed in its duty to provide an appropriate standard of care.
Help is available from Phoenix, Arizona, nursing home attorneys
At the Wattel and York law firm, we fight for justice for the elderly every day. Call for a free case analysis and consultation. We are committed to helping people of all ages in Phoenix or anywhere in Arizona who have been neglected or harmed. If you can’t come to us, we’ll come to you.