Risk factors for pressure ulcers include low mobility, chronic medical conditions, drug use (steroids, for example), impaired blood flow, cognitive impairment, incontinence, malnutrition and dehydration, and previous ulcers. As nursing home residents are often susceptible to pressure ulcers, nursing homes should seek to limit risk factors where possible and provide the necessary care for residents who may be at risk.
Since pressure ulcers are caused when pressure is exerted on the skin, limited mobility is a significant risk factor. When an elderly person remains in the same position for an extended period of time without moving, they often develop ulcers where their body has experienced prolonged pressure from a bed or chair. As this is a common problem in nursing homes, nursing home staff should provide opportunities for residents to change position and move around if possible.
Conditions like thyroid disease, diabetes mellitus, and end stage renal disease are also risk factors for pressure ulcers, as are conditions that impair blood flow. Caregivers who assist people with a condition that puts them at increased risk should take extra precautions to prevent pressure ulcers. Another risk factor is skin exposure to urinary incontinence. As such, nursing home staff and caregivers should provide prompt and adequate assistance for residents with incontinence, and supply them with sufficient hygiene.
Additionally, a lack of proper nutrition or hydration can increase a resident’s risk of developing pressure ulcers, which is why nursing homes should ensure that all residents receive adequate nutrition and opportunities to hydrate.
Finally, a history of pressure ulcers is also a significant risk factor, as certain types of pressure ulcers are likely to recur. For this reason, caregivers should find out whether or not a resident has previously developed pressure ulcers, and if so, they should take this into consideration when providing care and treatment.
Nursing homes should use reasonable care to reduce residents’ risk of developing pressure ulcers. A nursing home that fails to adequately care for its residents may be required to compensate the resident for related medical bills, out of pocket expenses, and pain and suffering.
If your loved one developed pressure ulcers at a nursing home or assisted living facility, and you are wondering if you have a claim, 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 more information about this topic, be sure to click on our other videos, or better yet, click the subscribe button to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Thank you.