Bedsores and Pressure Ulcers

Pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores, are graphic, ugly, painful display of a nursing home’s or assisted living’s failure to care for the elderly.  Referred to as pressure ulcers, the wounds occur when unrelieved pressure is applied to the skin, generally over a bony prominence that leads to restricted blood flow to the skin.

A combination of several well-known and understood factors makes nursing home residents more at risk for developing pressure ulcers: immobility, moisture, poor nutrition, limited sensory perception, and friction and shear. Residents and family generally will see these wounds develop with someone who is immobile and is not being turned and repositioned, who is left for an extended time in their urine or feces, and who is not getting adequate nutrition.

Bedsores are described using a staging system from I to IV and unstageable, with IV being the most serious as an open wound down to the bone.  Common sites for pressure ulcers include the area in the lower center of one’s back (aka sacrum), the heels of the feet, buttocks, and back of the head.

When pressure ulcers are open wounds, a nursing home resident is more susceptible to infection of the wound and blood, which can cause the body to fail and lead to death.

The nursing home or assisted living must have enough staff to properly turn and reposition, ensure cleanliness, and monitor and adjust nutrition levels to prevent bed sores. 

Contact Schall at Law if you or a loved one has sustained bedsore or pressure ulcer injuries as a result of failure to receive care in a nursing home, assisted living or group home.