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Bed Sores Attorney – Nursing Home Abuse Litigator Award Winner – Moran Law
Elders, particularly those confined to beds or wheelchairs, are vulnerable to developing bed sores due to prolonged pressure on certain body parts. These sores can lead to severe complications if not treated promptly. A bed sores attorney specializes in cases where caregivers, nursing homes, or medical facilities may have been negligent in preventing or treating these sores. Engaging a bed sore attorney ensures that the rights of the elder are protected, appropriate compensation is sought, and institutions are held accountable for their care standards, thereby promoting better care practices in the future.
What are Bed Sores?
One of the most common ailments affecting elderly residents in nursing homes is pressure sores (also known as bed sores). These painful sores result from leaving the nursing home patient in the same position for too long, which increases the formation of reddish sores. If left untreated, the severity of the sore worsens over time.
Pressure sores are entirely preventable unlike many of the ailments that land the elderly in nursing homes. For most patients, it is possible to prevent pressure sores. It is usually the responsibility of the nursing home to take preventative measures because a large percentage of nursing home residents are incapable of caring for themselves.
Bed Sore Prevention
The following are just some of the few steps the nursing home should take to prevent pressure sores:
- Change the patient’s position once every two hours minimum, especially if that patient is unable to change position on his or her own;
- Keep skin clean and dry by frequently bathing of the patient;
- When possible, encourage the patient to ambulate to promote circulation, and;
- Ensure the patient receives adequate nutrition
Change the patient’s position regularly:
It’s essential to shift a patient’s position at least once every two hours, especially if they are incapacitated or cannot move independently. By doing so, one can alleviate the constant pressure exerted on specific body parts, which can initiate the formation of bed sores. Using specialized mattresses or cushions can further aid in redistributing pressure and providing comfort to the patient.
Maintain skin hygiene and moisture control:
The integrity of the skin can be compromised if it is consistently wet or soiled. Regularly bathing the patient helps in keeping the skin clean, reducing the risk of infections that can exacerbate bed sore conditions. Additionally, using mild cleansers and moisturizers can maintain the skin’s natural barrier. Drying the skin gently but thoroughly after each wash is equally vital to prevent excess moisture build-up.
Promote mobility and physical activity:
If the patient’s health permits, encourage them to move around, either on their own or with assistance. Ambulation, or the act of walking, stimulates blood circulation throughout the body, ensuring that vital nutrients reach the skin. Simple exercises or light stretches, even if performed in bed, can also prove beneficial in preventing the onset of pressure sores by improving muscle tone and circulation.
Prioritize balanced and nutritious meals:
Proper nutrition plays a pivotal role in maintaining skin health and promoting wound healing. Ensure that the patient’s diet is rich in essential nutrients, particularly protein, vitamin C, and zinc, which aid in tissue repair and regeneration. Staying hydrated with adequate fluid intake is equally crucial. If necessary, consider consulting with a dietitian to create a meal plan that supports the patient’s specific needs and health conditions.
When bed sores do develop, it is best to address the problem immediately. Nursing home staff should remove pressure from the affected area immediately. This may entail requiring the patient to lie on the side of their body opposite the sore, which allows the sore to dry and heal. Care must then be taken by the nursing home staff to prevent further pressure sores from developing on the healthy side of the body.
As people continue to age, they become less capable of caring for themselves. That is why it is the job of nursing home staff or other caregivers to ensure they are given the care they need. Pressure sores are common and may reflect a lack of adequate care by the healthcare professionals that work in the nursing home. Patient care in nursing homes is often substandard because the facilities are chronically understaffed, and the staff they do employ are usually underpaid, causing high employee turnover rates.
If a patient develops these sores, the family or other loved ones should notify the nursing home staff immediately to ensure the patient receives proper care. You may be entitled to compensation if you or a loved one has suffered from pressure sores while residing in a nursing home. At Moran Law, our bed sores attorney represent patients and their families across Los Angeles County and Orange County. To learn more, give one of our nursing home abuse attorneys a call today at (714) 549-0333.