When a nursing home fails to care for their residents, that negligence can result in injuries and illness. Because senior citizens typically have more compromised immune systems and it’s harder for them to recover, negligence can also cause death. One of these types of injuries that can severely affect a senior’s life is pressure sores, which are also called bedsores.
If you find that your loved one has suffered from these injuries, they need to get treatment immediately. How and when do bedsores commonly develop? Let’s take look at the causes and risk factors of developing pressure sores in a nursing home:
Identifying Pressure Sores
There are a few common areas where pressure sores can develop. This includes the spine, shoulder blades, elbows, toes, as well as other areas of the body that come into contact with prolonged pressure. Your loved one may not realize that they have a pressure sore. Issues with sensory perception may include not feeling or recognizing pain in a certain area, meaning your loved one will not be able to tell. In addition, medical conditions like diabetes and vascular disease restrict blood flow and there’s a higher chance of tissue damage.
If you suspect your loved one isn’t getting the care they need, you may want to know the signs of a pressure sore. You should be able to figure out if one is forming if you see the following symptoms:
- There are unusual changes in skin color or texture.
- The area is swollen.
- There is pus-like draining.
- The area is tender.
- The temperature of the affected area feels warmer or cooler to the touch.
These are all red flags and you should get in touch with a doctor immediately so they can begin to treat the wound.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Pressure Sores?
Pressure sores are treatable, but they have stages. As the wounds progress, they worsen and get more difficult to treat.
If the injury is caught early and the skin isn’t broken, it’s likely that they’ll clean and dress the wound. However, if the wound is to heal, there cannot be infected or dead tissue. This will need to be removed. Flushing the wound, taking out damaged tissue, or using negative pressure therapy can be used as treatment. Negative pressure therapy is also called vacuum-assisted closure, (VAC), where suction is used to clean the wound.
Pressure sores are painful, so your loved one may be prescribed pain medication. Both oral and topical medications are possible options. Anti-inflammatory drugs may be all they need. But if there’s infection involved, antibiotics will be used. Throughout the healing process, it’s imperative for your loved one to get proper nutrition and hydration. Proteins, vitamins, and plenty of water are imperative to anyone’s overall health, and they will help your loved one’s wound heal. The sore will need active monitoring to determine if it’s getting any better. While many may respond to these treatments, there may be circumstances where further action is needed.
If the pressure sore is large and isn’t healing on its own, your loved one may need to undergo a surgical procedure called flap reconstruction. Other tissue will be used to cover the wound so the surrounding area, including the affected bone, can heal.
Getting a procedure is nerve-wracking for anyone, but senior citizens who have other health problems may not have the health to use this resort. Or, if they do, they may be at increased risk of complications. Surgeries are invasive and your loved one will need a safe environment to recover.
The Law Office of Todd W. Burris Protects Senior Citizens
Residents in nursing homes should be able to live with dignity and have their rights respected. When this doesn’t happen, we will step in. Your loved one deserves to have the best quality of life, especially when others are entrusted to take care of them. There is no excuse for negligence, and when it causes serious injuries like pressure sores, they need to be held accountable.
Filing a Kentucky nursing home abuse claim will allow you to get fair compensation for your loved one and what they’ve been through. This can help cover medical treatment needed to cure their pressure sore. The nursing home will also have to answer for their actions and admit fault in their part of harming your loved one. Call our office or send in a free case review today.