When a person is bedridden for a while, they may notice red itchy marks on the boney areas of their body that are called bedsores. Bedsores, also known as pressure sores, normally feel hot to the touch and they may be swollen and secrete pus.
Bedsores can cause discolorization of the skin. The texture of the skin may also become rougher than normal. They develop and get more severe over time. When a bedsore first starts out, it may be nothing more than a slight discoloration of the skin. Over time it may turn into deep damage to the bone and muscle.
People who have pressure sores tend to be limited in their mobility and they may be in the same position for hours at a time. Although bedsores can be treated with surgery and behavioral changes, sometimes the condition can be chronic.
The site of the ulcers on the body depends on how a person is positioned. People who are in wheelchairs may get sores on their tailbone, shoulder blades, and on the backs of their arms and legs. Bedridden people may get sores on their head and neck or on their heels and the back of their knees.
Immobility is the most common cause of pressure sores. Other forms of skin damage can be caused by friction. When an elderly person’s delicate skin rubs up against sheets, it can cause injury to the skin.
Shearing can also cause damage to the skin. Shearing takes place when two touching surfaces move in opposite directions. This happens in nursing homes when a patient’s head is elevated and they slide down the bed. The skin on their neck may be damaged and it may cause the ulcers to break open and become infected.
Treatment for Bedsores
Bedsores can be treated by removing the pressure from the affected area. This is often done by simply repositioning the sufferer. Cleaning and bandaging these ulcers also helps.
If a person with pressure sores is moved at regular intervals and the sores do not go away within 48 hours, the patient may want to see a doctor.
A doctor can remove the affected tissue and in some cases, they will even do a skin graft. For some people, the sores can be a chronic problem.
How to Prevent the Sores from Happening
Repositioning is the key to avoiding pressure sores. Moving a person from time to time can alleviate pressure on their skin. It is also recommended that sufferers eat a low-fat diet that is high in vitamin C.
Find Out if the Nursing Home was Negligent
Elderly people who are in nursing homes are prone to getting bedsores, and sometimes, they occur because of the negligence of the institution.
Nursing homes tend to be understaffed as they do not pay very much and the jobs they offer are physically demanding. Nursing assistance often cannot move a bedridden patient as often as they should and that can cause injury.
Suing a Nursing Home for Negligence
If you have a family member who has bedsores as the result of nursing home negligence, you may want to consider suing the home. You should consult a law firm that is staffed with New York bedsore lawyers. They will have the experience to get you the money you deserve.