Bedsores may be one of the most common signs of trouble for a resident at a nursing home. Bedsores, sometimes referred to as pressure sores, are wounds commonly caused by the constant pressure on the skin from the bed. This kind of consistent pressure can reduce, or even cut off blood flow. Without blood flow to the wound area, skin and tissue begin to die.
Bedsores may also be caused by friction or shear. Some individuals may move around in the bed in an effort to prevent bedsores, but unfortunately, this may have the opposite effect on thin or easily damaged skin. When the skin moves in one direction and the bone moves in the opposite direction, this is known as a shear and there is an increased risk of bedsores. Shear often occurs when an individual is gradually sliding down or slumping in a bed/chair. Although an individual may move from the bed to a chair frequently, it is still possible for these skin irritations to take place. These sores have the potential to be an indication of much more serious health issues, such as skin or bone infections.
An early sign of a forming bedsore on the skin is a red or pink area. It will often look irritated before the actual formation of the sore. The area may also be warm, tender, painful, or itchy. Some signs to indicate the sore may be a little farther along include blisters, minimal skin loss, or minor abrasions. If not treated properly, bedsores have the potential to expose underlying muscle and bone.
There are steps to take to prevent the development of bedsores. Individuals that do not have the ability to shift around on the bed by themselves need to be repositioned every couple of hours, the skin needs to be kept clean and dry, and any signs of discoloration on skin will indicate that an individual does not need to have pressure on that specific area. Additionally, changing the bedding regularly can aid in preventing bedsores.
If your loved one has developed bed sores, or has been injured in a nursing home or assisted living facility, then please, feel free to call and speak to one of our experienced Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers today. Our consultations are always free.