When is a bedsore the result of neglect?

945156_wheelchairBedsores can happen anywhere, not only in nursing homes. One of our clients even developed a stage 4 bedsore while in the Intensive Care Unit of a reputable hospital. It is natural for us to assume that nursing staff will regularly and diligently check our loved ones for signs of a developing bedsore. Sadly, this is not usually the case, especially in nursing homes where the nurses are underpaid, overworked and not properly trained. One or more of the following may indicate that a bedsore developed or progressed due to neglect:

  • The patient was not turned or repositioned regularly (at least every 2 hours), especially patients who spend a lot of time in bed or in a wheelchair.
  • The staff failed to use pillows or other devices to position the body and relieve pressure over bony prominences.
  • The patient was not bathed regularly, and his or her skin was not kept clean, dry and free of feces and urine.
  • The staff failed to notify the doctor when a bedsore first developed or continued to progress.
  • The patient was not provided a special pressure-reducing mattress when he or she developed a stage 1 or stage 2 ulcer.
  • The patient did not receive adequate liquids, a protein-rich diet, or sufficient vitamins and minerals so that his or her body could fight infection and repair skin breakdown.
  • The staff failed to monitor and promptly report signs of infection to a doctor.

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What can I do if I think my loved one developed a pressure sore because of neglect?

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Disclaimer: The information on this site is for informational and educational purposes only. None of the medical information is intended to be a substitute for professional medical judgment. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.

Injured Elder