Families want their elderly loved ones to have only the best care possible at the nursing home or other senior care facilities where they reside. Ensuring the quality of healthcare your loved one receives means being attentive to signs of nursing home abuse and negligence in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are a common nursing home injury and a warning sign of nursing home abuse. Bedsores are caused by pressure against the skin that limits blood flow delivering oxygen and other nutrients to the skin and underlying tissues. People who have difficulty moving or changing position while seated or lying in bed are most at risk of developing bed sores.
Bedsores – What to Look For
Since patients can quickly develop bedsores, it is important for nursing home personnel to pay especially close attention to their residents’ physical condition to ensure they are getting the care they require. Once a bedsore is diagnosed, it’s up to nursing home personnel to provide the resident with immediate care to prevent the injury from advancing to a more severe stage.
The warning signs of bedsores are:
- Unusual changes in skin color or texture
- Tender areas of the skin
- Swelling of the skin
- An area of skin feels cooler or warmer to the touch than another area
- Pus-like discharge
Common sites for bedsores include:
- The back or sides of the head
- Portions of the arms and legs that rest against a wheelchair
- Shoulder blades and spine
- Hip, lower back, tailbone or buttocks
- Heels, ankles, and skin behind the knees
Doctors assign a stage to bedsores based on their depth, severity and other characteristics. They range from Stage 1, where the sore is not yet an open wound, but there are changes to skin texture, color, and temperature, to Stage 4, where the ulcer spreads to the muscle or bone tissues, resulting in irreversible damage.
Many serious, even life-threatening, complications can arise from untreated bed sores:
- Bone and joint infections
Bed Sore Prevention
There are some preventative treatment options available to healthcare providers when it comes to preventing bedsores in Fort Lauderdale nursing home residents.
- Regularly change a resident’s position: Every 15 minutes if they’re confined to a wheelchair and every 2 hours if they’re bedridden.
- Skin care: Healthcare providers should inspect a resident’s skin on a daily basis. The skin should be kept clean and dry. Any bandages need to be changed
- Physical activity: If possible, make sure residents engage in some form of physical activity, such as exercise, every day.
- Proper nutrition: Make sure residents’ diet provides for their nutritional needs; malnutrition can contribute to bedsores and other conditions.
Treatment for bedsores depends on the stage of the wound. Stage 1 and 2 bed sores can usually be treated with antibiotics, topical cleaning solutions and supportive aids (special pillows, cushions, mattresses, etc.). Stage 3 and 4 injuries may require surgery to remove the damaged tissue.
Nursing Home Neglect in Fort Lauderdale
Because bedsores are such a preventable condition, their appearance is an indicator of substandard healthcare. Even in times of crisis when staff may be reduced, such as during the current COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic, nursing homes are required to meet their residents needs and provide a reasonable standard of care.
If you fear your elderly loved one may be the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse in Fort Lauderdale, it’s important to take immediate action to protect their rights.
Lisa Levine is an experienced Fort Lauderdale nursing home abuse lawyer who champions the cases of victims of nursing home abuse throughout Florida, including Coral Springs, Miami, Boca Raton, Hollywood (FL), Pompano Beach and surrounding communities. She possesses the necessary skills, expertise, and dedication to successfully prove nursing home abuse claims and obtain a compensation that adequately addresses the victim’s pain, suffering, and any other damages.
Call South Florida nursing home neglect attorney Lisa Levine today at (954) 256-1820 or contact her online to schedule a free consultation. Lisa’s nursing home abuse cases are handled on a contingency basis, which means there are no costs to accept your case and she only earns her fee after securing your settlement.