It’s clear to everyone that pressure ulcers, also known as bed sores, are painful, dangerous and can even be deadly. These are the most common type of nursing home and assisted living negligence case. Frequently, patients who are immobile (whether because of physical or mental injuries), are allowed to sit or stay in one position for too long. If the body doesn’t move regularly, blood doesn’t flow properly, and injuries develop to the skin surface. Left untreated, those minor injuries grow and deepen, sometimes becoming infected down to the bone and causing necrotic tissue.
It is likely impossible to completely prevent bedsores. The negligence in nursing home cases is typically focused on failure to identify and treat pressure ulcers before they get to a dangerous point. Without proper treatment, patients must be hospitalized and undergo painful cleaning and tissue removal. In the worst cases, patients die because of infection.
The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reports in its September 2012 issue (Hospital-Acquired Pressure Ulcers: Results from the National Medicare Patient Safety Monitoring System Study) that they have found a correlation between bedsores and patient mortality. Evaluating 51,000 Medicare patients from 2006 and 2007, the authors discovered that hospital patients who develop bedsores are more likely to die, to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days, and to have longer hospital stays. The key, of course, is prevention and early treatment. Evaluating patients who had bedsores, they found that the most common locations are the tailbone or sacrum, followed by the hip, buttocks and heels.
If you or a loved one has developed pressure ulcers in a hospital stay or at a nursing home, contact our nursing home abuse lawyers at 443.850.4426, or send an online confidential request for information. We can order your medical records, have them reviewed by an expert, and determine whether you have a nursing home lawsuit.