According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 1.4 million people lived in nursing homes in 2014, and each year, over 2 million cases of elder abuse are reported. Additionally, nearly 10 percent of senior citizens will suffer some type of elder abuse. One common type of abuse often suffered by patients in nursing homes is bedsores.
Bedsores Are Preventable
Bedsores occur when heavy pressure is put on part of the body. This pressure restricts blood flow and oxygen from reaching the area and, if untreated, can cause an open sore. These types of sores begin as red or purple spots, progress to open sores, and then deepen until tissue and tendons begin to wear away and expose bone. Bedsores can happen if caretakers fail to:
- Shift the patient's position frequently. All too often, bedsores occur because too much concentrated pressure is applied to one spot for a prolonged period. If patients are repositioned frequently, the likelihood of bedsores decreases.
- Keep existing bedsores clean. Since bedsores occur in four stages, it’s important to recognize them early and take care of them right away. If a bedsore goes unnoticed and untreated, fatal infections can occur.
- Bandage any open wounds properly. If the patient’s bedsore is already an open wound, it’s important to apply proper bandages and change them frequently to prevent serious infection.
A nursing home has a responsibility to care for its residents and ensure their health and safety, making sure patients don’t suffer from bedsores. It’s important to remember that if nursing home caretakers do their jobs correctly, bedsores do not occur frequently and should never become a serious problem.
What to Do If You Suspect Neglect
If you’ve seen bedsores on your loved one and suspect nursing home neglect or abuse, you need the help of an experienced attorney. The legal team at Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum can assist you in determining if you have a case against a nursing home for abuse. Contact us at 888-591-9976 to discuss your specific situation.