Solomon & Relihan Offers Tips on Identifying and Preventing Bed Sores in Nursing Homes

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Bed sores are all-too-common problem in nursing homes. Bed sores should not occur if the staff is moving a patient properly. However, if they do occur, they can lead to serious injury and even death. Attorneys and nursing home advocates Solomon & Relihan have compiled a list of signs to look out for to identify and prevent bed sores.

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Anyone whose mobility is hampered or who is confined to a bed or wheelchair is at risk of developing bed sores (also called pressure sores or decubitus ulcers). These wounds are serious injuries that can lead to sepsis, infection, and death.

Anyone whose mobility is hampered or who is confined to a bed or wheelchair is at risk of developing bed sores (also called pressure sores or decubitus ulcers). These wounds are serious injuries that can lead to sepsis, infection, and death.

To prevent bed sores, the nursing staff is responsible for regularly adjusting the position of residents to encourage adequate circulation. Sadly, this is often not done. Staff members often fail to take the time to adequately move residents. Overworked and underpaid, they allow residents to sit or lay in bed unattended for hours — causing these serious sores to develop.

Attorneys and nursing home advocates Solomon & Relihan have handled many cases involving bed sores. They have compiled a list of signs that family members should be on the look out for to identify and prevent bed sores.

Identifying Bed Sores

Bed sores are areas of damaged skin and tissue that develop when pressure from a bed or wheelchair cuts off circulation. Without enough blood flow, the tissue dies. Bed sores usually develop on the elbows, buttocks, hips, and heels — areas of the body on which the most pressure is placed when in a bed or wheelchair.

Checking for Bed Sores

A family member should regularly check the pressure points on the buttocks, legs, elbows, and heels for evidence of pressure sores. Pressure sores start out as reddened areas that do not blanch (turn white) when pressed. If not attended to properly, the pressure can cause underlying tissue to break down and become infected. In severe cases, bed sores can become life threatening.

Preventing Bed Sores

If a resident is moved properly according to their assigned schedule, bed sores should not develop. Family members should check in with nurses and ask to see nursing records to make sure the schedule for moving the resident is being followed. This can prevent bed sores from developing in the first place.

By following these tips, family members can identify and hopefully prevent bed sores from occurring.

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Martin Solomon
Solomon & Relihan
(602) 635-1532
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