Are bedsores a common sign of nursing home neglect?

If you have a loved one in an Atlanta, Georgia, nursing home, you expect him or her to be safe. Unfortunately, evidence of nursing home neglect is all too common. If your older loved one has bedsores, you may want to know if neglect is the cause.

How common are bedsores among nursing home residents?

Bedsores are also known as pressure ulcers. They often affect nursing home residents and other individuals who are confined to a bed or wheelchair and develop because of someone being in the same position for a long time. However, the federal government has determined that bedsores should not occur in nursing homes and that they signify nursing home negligence.

What causes bedsores?

Many factors can lead to a person developing bedsores. However, they typically occur due to continuous pressure on a specific area of the body. Usually, they affect the buttocks, lower back, hips, tailbone, or heels. When a nursing home resident suffers this type of injury, it’s often suspected that nursing home neglect is to blame as bedsores commonly accompany other issues, such as malnutrition and dehydration. Sometimes, a resident may even have urine or feces on his or her body that has not been cleaned up. This is certainly evidence of neglect.

How can you tell how serious a bedsore is?

According to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, there are four scales to determine the severity of bedsores. They include the following.

• Stage 1. The skin is reddish and discolored but not broken. It may be warm to the touch.

• Stage 2. The skin is broken with a sore on its surface.

• Stage 3. The sore is deeper than the first layer of skin and spreads into the fatty tissue below.

• Stage 4. The sore penetrates the muscle and, possibly, as far as the bone.

If your loved one has bedsores, and you believe nursing home neglect is involved, you are entitled to file a lawsuit.