Are Pressure Sores and Bed Sores Avoidable?

As New York nursing home lawyers, many of the injury and neglect cases we see could easily have been prevented with adequately trained staff.  Pressure sores, or bed sores as they are more commonly called, usually fall into this category.

What are pressure sores?

Pressure sores are injuries to the skin that develop when they body stays in one position for too long.  If left untreated, pressure sores can cause serious infections that can lead to serious health consequences, including death.

Preventing Pressure Sores

In most instances, there is generally no reason why a resident in a nursing home or long-term care facility should develop pressure sores. Only in cases where a medical condition exists – such as severe diabetes, peripheral vascular disease (a disease affecting blood flow in the legs and lower extremities), cancer, or stroke – are pressure sores sometimes unavoidable.  But even with these severe medical conditions, injuries from pressure sores can be lessened with proper care and supervision.

Typically, nursing home staff should be trained to reposition residents with limited or no mobility every two hours (or every hour when they are sitting).  Staff should also take great care to watch for the development of pressure sores, and should treat them immediately if they occur.  In most cases, vigilant body re-positioning and close attention can minimize or prevent al pressure sores.

What Should You Do?

To the extent that you can, visit your loved one frequently.  Don’t just ask how they are doing; look for indications of pressure sores or other adverse conditions.

Check to see if they seem to be having more trouble moving, given their condition.  Do they seem to be in pain if they are in a certain position (or do they try to avoid being in a certain position that otherwise would seem comfortable)?  If so, look to see whether a pressure sore may be the reason that they are avoiding such position.

Remember – many of our seniors (such as our parents) don’t want to “trouble us” with their ailments.  Frequently, seniors would rather endure pain than to have us “worry” about their condition.

Nursing home residents may also want to not disclose a pressure sore to avoid causing “problems,” or getting a staff member in trouble.  In some cases, this may be because the senior otherwise likes a staff member, or the senior may fear worse treatment by staff after  family members leave.

Call Us

As long-time nursing home lawyers, we represent clients throughout New York and surrounding states.

If a loved one has developed pressure sores while in the care of a nursing home or long-term care facility, call us. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation so that we can learn about your situation and explain the options available.


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103 W. Seneca Street, Suite 301
Ithaca, NY 14850
Telephone: (607) 272-5590
Fax: (607) 272-5594

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