Every nursing home is required to assess each resident’s risk for development of bedsores. Once that assessment is made, the facility is required to execute a plan of prevention. When the nursing home fails either to conduct an assessment, or to provide adequate preventative measures, then they can be liable for the injuries and harms that occur.
But what are the recommended preventative measures? As mentioned, treatment will depend on the individual, but the most common methods are repositioning and support surfaces or pressure distribution.
Repositioning is absolutely critical for a resident who is immobile or requires assistance for movement. Changing position hourly, or at least every two hours, is a common method of prevention. For example, for early stage bedsores to the sacrum, the resident may be positioned facing left on his or her side, and then repositioned again after an hour or so to face right. Repositioning must occur only when there has been enough time for the tissues and muscles under the skin to receive the appropriate level of blood flow. Simply lifting, or off loading the weight, for several seconds, or a minute or two, also called a “microshift” does not provide any benefit.
There many types of pressure redistribution methods to help prevent bedsores. For example, static pressure devices, like solid foam or gel mattresses, helps extend the time in which a part of the body may receive pressure. While a dynamic pressure reduction device, like mattresses that inflate or deflate in various chambers, are used when the resident has difficulty attaining a position that does not put pressure on the bedsore.
In short, the nursing home should assess bedsore risk immediately upon admission, and take definitive steps to prevent their occurrence.
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.