It may only take a few hours for your loved one’s bedsores to form in a nursing home. However, several factors may speed up their formation, including age, surface material, health complications, and nutrition.
Nursing homes have a general and medical responsibility to assess, prevent, treat, and monitor bedsore injuries. Otherwise, they may be liable for nursing home abuse or neglect.
Family members whose loved one sustained bedsore injuries, may file a monetary claim related to their losses.
The Amount of Time To Get Bedsores in a Nursing Home
How long does it take to get bed sores in a nursing home? It can take as little as several hours before bedsores begin to form. One study indicates that they start developing within a four- to six-hour timeframe after applying constant loading pressure to a specific body part.
Bedsores typically form on tailbones, heels, and ankles. There are other factors, aside from pressure or friction, that speed up their formation:
- Age: Adults aged 70 years or older have a higher risk of developing bedsore injuries. The reason is due to the thinning of the skin, fat, and muscles. Older people tend to weigh less and lack physical cushioning and support. Bedsores also take longer to heal since the cell repair rate diminishes over time as we age.
- Surface type: Softer surfaces tend to lessen the risk of developing bedsores since it places less pressure on the body. Nursing homes and medical facilities must consider surfaces as patients and residents are sitting or lying down.
- Smoking: Cigarette smokers experience more risk to bedsores than those who do not. Smoking restricts your ability to circulate blood while simultaneously reducing oxygen due to increased nicotine levels.
- Diabetes: Diabetes and other vascular issues cause reduced circulation in the human body. Therefore, body parts sustaining pressure may not receive proper blood flow.
- Malnourishment: At any age, the body requires nutritious food and clean water. Older adults need extra care in this regard. Malnutrition and dehydration can lead to the deterioration of the muscle, fat, and bone tissue. It also makes it more difficult for the body to repair itself when experiencing bedsores.
- Incontinence: Adults with incontinence are at a higher chance of developing bedsores. Urine and fecal matter cause the skin to remain moist, which aids in the breakdown of already delicate tissue. It can also cause infections to enter the wound.
While it is true that specific factors cause bedsores to develop faster in some adults, there are measures that nursing homes can take to reasonably prevent bedsores from forming in the first place. If a nursing home staff member discovers them on a resident, doctors should be notified so that they can treat the bedsores immediately and monitor them until they heal.
How Nursing Homes Can Prevent Bedsores
The prevention of bedsores starts by assessing the risk level of the patient. Nursing homes use the Braden Scale to help them measure risk in the following six areas:
- Sensory perception
- Exposure to moisture
- Activity level
- Exposure to pressure or friction
Medical care providers score the risk of patients to assess whether a severe, moderate, mild, or no risk exists. Nursing homes should treat older adults with extra care, since they have a higher risk of exposure.
The techniques below are the general methods of preventing bedsores nursing homes should use:
- Repositioning: Moving the patient is critical to the prevention of bedsores. It reduces the pressure points created by long periods of lying down or sitting. Researchers believe it is the most effective prevention method.
- Nutrition: Nourished patients tend to heal faster than malnourished ones. Protein is an excellent food source to prevent bedsore
- Skincare: Having clean, dry skin reduces the risk of infection while preserving the skin’s integrity. Individuals must be thoroughly towel-dried after bathing. If incontinence is an issue, adult diapers should be changed regularly.
It is completely possible to prevent bedsores in nursing homes. Therefore, family members, who have observed bedsores, have every right to feel concerned for their loved one’s health and safety. There is compensation available for financial, mental, and physical losses.
When You Can Sue a Nursing Home for Bedsores
If your loved one received bedsore injuries due to abuse or negligence, you can file a claim for compensation. Each state has its own set of unique principles to follow. Therefore, you must speak with a nursing home injury lawyer to understand how you can pursue compensation.
You might be able to receive money for medical expenses, relocation costs, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and wrongful death for bedsore injuries. There is a statute of limitations—or deadline—that pertains to your case, which means that you may want to talk to a legal professional sooner than later to avoid missing it.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm About Abusive or Negligent Bedsore Injuries
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will help you through the entire claims procedure and take your case to trial if necessary. Our nursing home injury lawyers are not afraid of taking on challenging situations.