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Personal Injury Law Blog

Here’s why bedsores suggest nursing negligence

If you or your loved one undergo an extended stay in a South Carolina hospital or nursing facility, you can expect quality care in accordance with state laws. When a patient is immobile, care providers must assist him or her to change positions in the bed every few hours. Failing to do so can cause bedsores to form, which can quickly become infected and cause life-threatening risk to a patient.

Bedsores occur from friction, such as a sheet on a bed constantly rubbing against the heel of a patient’s foot. Changing positions is the only way to relieve the friction. When a patient remains in the same position for too long, bedsores can form.

Care providers know how to prevent bedsores

In addition to helping a patient change positions every few hours, there are several other ways to reduce the risk of bedsores. If a patient is sitting in a wheelchair, he or she should change positions every 15 minutes. Providing extra padding can reduce friction and help patients avoid bedsores. Nursing home staff members and hospital nurses know how to lift and turn patients in the safest ways to avoid causing bed linens to rub up against the skin.

It’s important to be properly nourished and hydrated, as well, because a healthy body full of nutrients will help bedsores heal. If you’re dehydrated, your skin will become dry, which enables friction to occur more easily, thus increasing the risk for bedsores.

Be aware of potential complications from bedsores

You might not think that a bedsore is a serious injury. However, in many cases, they take long to heal and become infected. The infection can then spread throughout the body. A patient in this condition might have heart palpitations or experience weakness or mental confusion.

Who gets bedsores most often?

Elderly people, as well as younger patients who are bedridden for long periods of time are most at-risk for bedsores. The medical industry classifies bedsores into four stages from least to most severe. The backs of knees, heels, elbows, head and shoulders are areas on the body that are most prone to bedsore wounds.

This type of sore may first appear like an abrasion or scrape. If allowed to fester, it can become an open sore or blistered injury. The sore might puss or bleed. Medical attention is necessary, and if it’s not provided, a patient could die if a bedsore becomes severely infected. If you or your loved one has been a victim of nursing neglect in a South Carolina medical facility, state law gives you the option of seeking restitution for damages.