Under Georgia law, nursing homes and assisted living facilities have a duty to assess the risk of bedsores and take steps to prevent these wounds from occurring. Often, healthcare professionals will utilize a tool called the Braden Scale to assess the risk, and based on the score, implement certain procedures.
But what are the procedures to prevent the formation of bedsores? Depending on the problem area, that is, the location of the most pressure to the body, there are several ways to lessen the risk of injury.
First, and perhaps the most important, is repositioning the resident. Changing the patient’s position, for example, from laying on the right side to laying on the left side, prevents prolonged pressure to one spot. Depending on the risk of bedsore, the nursing staff may change the resident’s position as often as once every two hours, to once every 30-45 minutes.
Second, adequate nutrition and hydration can go a long way towards preventing bedsores. Having the proper amounts of nutrients, particularly protein, allows the body to fight off the effects of prolonged pressure. Further, proper hydration allows the skin to maintain a proper turgor, or elasticity, that helps prevent bedsores.
Third, devices may be used such as water mattresses, low air mattresses, heel raisers, or special seat cushions. These help take the pressure off the problem area, or at least spread the pressure evenly throughout that part of the body.
Fourth, proper hygiene can help. For nursing home residents that are incontinent, the constant changing and cleaning of undergarments mean bedsores are more likely to occur. It is important to make sure that the resident is changed and dried as soon as possible after a bowel movement or urination.
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.