For anyone that puts a loved one into a long-term care facility, the images of neglect and abuse can keep us awake at night. It isn’t easy to put the care of someone that you love into the hands of someone else, but so many of us have to do it. As such, we need to know that they are being taken care of in the best possible ways – they are fed, they are clean, and they are happy.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. More common than actual abuse or neglect, pressure injuries are one of the most significant problems facing nursing homes today.
Pressure injuries go far beyond mere discomfort or pain where the sore is. Bed sores greatly affect a person’s way of life, no matter how old they are or how healthy they are. Even the healthiest person living in a nursing home is at risk for serious risks for infection, inflammation, and even death.
In most cases, a person who has multiple bed sores at once or who has recurrent bed sore episodes is likely not receiving proper care – and may be being abused or neglected. If you believe that is the case for someone that you love, contact an injury attorney in Omaha today.
What Is A Pressure Injury?
Pressure injuries, also called pressure sores or bed sores, are areas of skin that have been damaged due to staying in one position for too long. Commonly, these sores appear in areas where the bones are extremely close to the surface of the skin, including on your ankles, back, elbows, heels of the feet, and hips.
Some of the most common signs of a pressure injury include:
- Unusual changes in skin color or texture
- Pus-like draining
- An area of skin that feels cooler or warmer to the touch than other areas
- Tender areas
People who are bedridden, use a wheelchair, or cannot successfully change positions by themselves tend to be more prone to bedsores. Pressure sores can be deadly as they cause serious infections that can get into the blood.
We most often hear about pressure injuries in nursing homes, but they can also be common in hospitals, elderly homes, and long-term care facilities. Nursing and caretaking professionals are trained on pressure injuries and how to spot them. In a perfect world, pressure injuries would not develop because people are being moved by their caretakers on a regular basis, even if they are in a coma.
How Can Pressure Injuries Be Prevented?
Pressure injuries are common and unfortunately, sometimes they are quite difficult to prevent. However, there are some basic steps you can take to prevent pressure injuries:
- Keeping skin clean and dry
- Changing position every two hours
- Using pillows and products that relieve pressure
While preventing pressure sores is the most important thing to do, there are treatments that can heal them. Early discovery is imperative.
Contact An Omaha Injury Attorney Today
How should a nursing home, hospital, or other long-term care facility treat our loved ones when you entrust them with their care? When you are looking at a facility to put a loved one in, you probably did a lot of research on your own. You wanted to ensure that they were taken care of when you couldn’t be there to oversee everything. However, what you hear when you look at a nursing home can be different from what actually happens.
We expect nursing homes, as a general rule, to ensure the health of the elderly individuals entrusted in their care, no matter what they have to do. Unfortunately, many nursing homes have lax safety and low standards of care because the workers are overworked, undertrained, and sometimes neglectful.
As a result, elderly people left in their care can suffer. Some of the common signs of nursing home neglect include:
- Neglect: dehydration, malnutrition, unsanitary conditions
- Negligence: falls, medication errors, pressure injuries
- Abuse: physical abuse, emotional abuse, theft
While nursing homes typically do a good job of caring for their patients, these incidents of abuse and unnecessary injury are too common and can result in medical emergencies and even death. A lawyer can help you hold the nursing home accountable for its actions – including pressure injuries.
If you would like to schedule a free personal injury case consultation to discuss your claim, contact our Omaha, Nebraska law office at any time.