Skin turgor is an indicator of the level of fluid loss to a nursing home resident. To assess skin turgor, the health care provider pinches the skin, normally for a few seconds, so that the skin is folded up and away from the body. Generally, the location is the back of the hand or forearm. The skin of resident with normal skin turgor will quickly go back to its normal position. When the skin fails to ‘snap back,’ the resident may be suffering from dehydration.
Specifically, skin recoil delayed for about 2 seconds is poor skin turgor. Poor skin turgor suggests moderate dehydration. Skin recoil of two or more seconds is a sign of severe dehydration. Finally, when the skin stays elevated for longer than a few seconds, it is known as ‘tenting.’
Dehydration in a nursing home resident may have many causes. The most common are diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and impairments that prevent the resident from taking in fluids.
Dehydration is a key factor in the development or exacerbation of bedsores. Essentially, a bedsore injury is caused by circulation problems. Prolonged pressure prevents blood from circulating. When the area beneath the skin do not receive adequate circulation, the muscle and tissue begin to breakdown.
Dehydration lowers blood volume, pressure, and flow. Obviously, when the blood’s ability to transfer oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and body are inhibited, the symptoms of bedsores can become much worse. This is why skin turgor plays an important role in assessing, avoiding, and treating bedsores.
Other signs of dehydration include cracked or parched lips, decline in mental capacity, dark urine, and general bodily weakness.
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. If you would like to learn more about this topic or watch additional videos please subscribe to our YouTube channel.