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A Silent Killer: Untreated Bedsores Can Be Lethal

Bedsores are a leading injury risk for neglected and unattended elderly patients. Bedsores, also known as pressure sores or pressure ulcers, are a significant problem in U.S. nursing homes. According to reports, more than 2.5 million Americans will develop ulcers ever year and of those patients, 60,000 patients die of pressure ulcer complications. Patients and their loved one should be aware of the risk of bedsores and know what to look out for to prevent painful and dangerous complications.

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Nursing home facilities are responsible for ensuring health, safety and well-being of patients. In addition to meeting nutritional requirements, preventing accidents and falls, and providing medical care, nursing homes must properly attend to patients to ensure they are getting moved often enough to prevent bedsores.

Our Fort Lauderdale nursing home injury attorneys are experienced in representing individuals and families who have suffered because of nursing home care and neglect. We will investigate any case involving abuse, neglect or other injuries that occurred while under nursing home care. In addition to representing clients, our firm is abreast of health and legal issues that impact nursing home residents.

Patients, families, as well as nursing homes must understand the risk of bedsores. According to leading healthcare professionals, pressure ulcers can develop in as little as three hours for patients who are lying too long in the same position. Those who are at the highest risk of developing bedsores include patients in hospitals and long-term care facilities, though bedsores can also happen to patients who are bedridden at home.

Individuals who are frail and thin are more likely to develop bedsores because they don’t have a layer of fat or cushioning to protect limbs. Ulcers will develop on the soft tissues when patients aren’t moved often enough or if they continue to slide down in a chair. The blood will stop circulating to these areas and tissue can die. The most common areas for bedsores are on the tailbone, heel of foot, or the buttocks. Without proper treatment or care, a bedsore can result in bacterial infections that can spread and result in death.

To prevent the detrimental and potentially deadly progression of bedsores, caretakers should change the position of the patient often and make sure that skin is clean. Patients should be able to change positions or take walks if possible. If a sore develops, patient should not rest on that area until it heals. Patients should have their diapers changed regularly. Wounds should be cleaned and dressed regularly with topical antibiotic ointments.

Early signs of a pressure sore may include pain, redness or bruising. Advanced stages of pressure ulcers may be large wounds deep into the tissue. In the event of infection, the skin can deteriorate down to the bone requiring surgical treatment. Every year, bedsores cost Americans $11.5 billion for care and treatment. If you believe that your loved one has suffered from bedsores because of negligence, you may be able to take legal action against a nursing home facility.

Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:
Alzheimer Patients Especially Vulnerable to Nursing Home Abuse, Neglect, April 15, 2014, Hollywood Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog

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