How do bedsores form?



Bedsores, otherwise known as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, are an injury to the skin and underlying tissue. According to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, there are three causes of pressure ulcer wounds.

First, and the most common, is prolonged pressure on the skin. This in turn causes tissue compression. In other words, the force of the underlying bone presses against the surface when the resident maintains a single position for a long period of time. The compressed tissue means less blood flow. As a result, tissue death can occur. 

The second cause of bed sores is shear force. Shear is the force that results when the skin is stationary, but the collagen, ligaments, or bone slides down through gravity. Similar to pressure, this condition may also cause the closing of blood vessels, leading to tissue decay and ischemia.

Third, habitual friction causes bedsores. When the skin continues to rub against a surface, whether a bed or a wheelchair, the top layers of skin begin to shear and die.

Still, there are certain circumstances that may exacerbate bedsores and increase their development. First, skin moisture. Moisture causes the skin to weaken and, combined with the aforementioned pressure, shear, and friction, to tear. Second, malnutrition and dehydration. Not taking in the proper amounts of nutrients can prevent the body from healing itself. Dehydration lessens the ability of blood to reach the damaged tissue.

Some nursing home residents are more susceptible to bedsores than others. Under Georgia law, hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities are obligated to assess the risk of bedsores and take appropriate preventative steps for each patient.

If your loved developed bed sores at a nursing home or assisted living facility, and you are wondering if you have a claim, then please, feel free to call and speak to one of our experienced Georgia nursing home neglect lawyers today. Our consultations are always free.