World Wide Pressure Injury Prevention Day on the 15th of November is a day to help increase awareness to the general public about pressure injury prevention. The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) has developed various media materials appropriate for all health care settings and organizations. These methods assist others in understanding how bedsores affect the infirm and elderly.
If your loved one has suffered because of bedsores from prolonged stationary confinement to a bed, you should contact our knowledgeable nursing home bedsores attorneys in Cincinnati for legal help today. At O’Connor, Acciani & Levy, we can help you understand how these injuries occur and the preventable measures that are possible.
An Overview Of Bedsores
Bedsores are pressure points on the body similar to ulcers that affect the skin and tissue beneath. They happen through prolonged pressure often because of confinement. These injuries generally develop on the skin that covers boney areas of the body such as the heels, hips, tailbone and ankles.
The likelihood of sustaining bedsores increases for nursing home residents that have a limited ability to move, change positions and spend more time in a bed or chair. The warning signs and common symptoms include the following:
- Unusual fluctuations in skin color and texture
- Swelling of affected areas
- Locations filled with puss that may drain
- Areas of skin that are cooler or warmer than surrounding tissue
- Parts of the body that are tender
Common areas affected by these symptoms depend on the limits of movement. For residents stuck in a wheelchair, bedsores may appear on the buttocks, spine and the backs of limbs. When a resident is confined to a bed, the back and sides of the head, shoulders, hips, ankles tailbone and behind the knees can suffer injury.
Risk Factors And Complications Of Bedsores
For nursing home residents who are unable to move or have difficulty with mobility, bedsores are a common risk. The factors that increase the risk of bedsores include the following:
- Immobility or the lack of movement caused by poor health, injury to the spine or other reasons
- An inability to feel pain or distress that often decreases awareness of the risk of bedsores
- Poor diet and hydration that affect the health and can increase the breakdown of tissue
- Medical situations that disrupt blood flow, such as diabetes that increase tissue breakdown and damage
Complications often occur with bedsores through life-threatening internal issues, such as cellulitis. This is an infection of the skin and soft tissues. With cellulitis, the individual often does not feel the bedsores. Bone and joint infections increase damage to tissues and cartilage which can reduce the ability of joints and limbs to properly function.
Bedsore Prevention Tips
Preventing bedsores is possible by taking recommended tips and using them on a daily basis. The following can help in avoiding these injuries in nursing home residents:
- Shifting weight frequently, every fifteen minutes
- Lifting the body, if possible, through daily exercises
- Using a wheelchair that tilts the body
- Using cushions or a mattress that relieves pressure to certain areas of the body
- Adjusting the elevation while in bed
- Washing the skin and keeping it dry
- Protecting the skin through lotions and powders
- Inspecting the body daily and looking closely for warning signs of possible bedsores
Contact A Licensed Attorney To Get Started
When your loved one sustains injuries through bedsores, it is important to get in touch with a Cincinnati nursing home abuse lawyer at O’Connor Acciani & Levy to begin filing a claim. Our team understands how these bedsores occur and why it is so devastating for a family to discover their elderly loved one suffering at the hands of a negligent health care facility.
We are here for you in this difficult time, and we can explain what legal options are available. We will help you pursue compensation for all relevant damages in the claim. We do not get paid unless you receive your just compensation. Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation so we can review your case and get to work.