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Bedsores may be a sign of neglect

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2022 | Injuries |

Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, occur when there is prolonged pressure on certain parts of the skin. Some places that these injuries take place are in hospitals and nursing homes when patients are immobile for longer periods of time.

Although bedsores are not always a sign of neglect, the National Law Review discusses that they may be a sign of neglect due to the fact that there are care plan strategies that can prevent them from occurring.

Risk factors

Elderly individuals are more prone to get bedsores than younger people. The risk factors involved include their thinner skin, age, medical issues and lack of mobility. If patients suffer from malnutrition, dehydration and excess moisture, such as from urine, their risk of bedsores increases.

Symptoms and signs of bedsores

The Mayo Clinic states that common areas where bedsores develop are behind the knees, shoulder blades, tailbone, spine, backs of arms and legs, hips and back of the head. The warning signs of pressure ulcers include:

  • Changes in skin texture and color
  • Warmth or coolness to a specific area of the skin
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Pus-like draining

There are various stages of bedsores, and if someone does not discover and treat them early, they can be difficult to treat. Complications include sepsis, cellulitis, bone infections and cancer.

Prevention strategies

One of the best ways to prevent pressure ulcers is to move and reposition the patient frequently. This releases the ongoing pressure on the skin. There are also mattresses and cushions that help relieve pressure. Adjusting the bed to 30 degrees or less at the head also helps. Other strategies include good skincare, hydration, good nutrition and light exercise.