From falls to medication mistakes, nursing home residents face numerous threats to their health and safety while under the care of others. One of the most common types of nursing home injury is bed sores. Whether the result of neglect or of deliberate abuse, West Virginia senior citizens can suffer a great deal from this terrible type of injury.
According to the Mayo Clinic, bed sores can develop if an immobile patient has been sitting or lying in the same position for too long without moving. These painful wounds are the result of pressure on the skin for a long period of time. They show up most often on the ankles, heels, tailbone, hips or other bony areas. Bed sores range in severity from redness and tenderness to a significant loss of tissue that may expose the tendons, muscle or bone.
Patients who are bedridden most of the time, unable to walk or wheelchair-bound are among those who are most likely to be affected. For those who are unable to get around or easily move on their own, nursing home staff should regularly move them or change their position in bed. Unfortunately, patients are often left alone, so bed sores appear and progressively worsen.
Patients with untreated sores may develop life-threatening infections and permanent loss of tissue. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one out of every 20 patients across the country have infections related to their care in a hospital setting. Infections resulting from bed sores may have easily been prevented through proper care.