October 22, 2017

Bedsore Prevention

Bedsore prevention is extremely important since the development of bedsores in patients in among the top five patient safety issues experienced by patients in health care facilities.  The best treatment for a bedsore is to begin early with measures that prevent the bedsore from developing.  Health care providers along with the patient’s family or support group can be successful in creating a strategic plan for making sure the patient’s positioning and health needs are met to reduce the risk for bedsore development.

Position & Repositioning
One successful strategy of bedsore prevention  includes frequent changes to the patient’s position.  The positioning strategy and frequency will depend upon the type of immobility of the patient, such as confined to a bed or chair.  For those confined to a wheelchair, the recommendation is to reposition every 15 to 30 minutes.  For those confined to a bed, it is recommended that a position change occur at least once every two hours and even during the night.  For patients who are unable to assist themselves in changing position, a caregiver or family member must be available to move you.

Pressure Relieving Devices
The use of pressure relieving devices can assist in reducing the risk for developing bed sores and is therefore a good bedsore prevention measure.  For those confined to a chair, various cushions that are filled with foam, air, water, or gel, can help to appropriately position the body in the chair.  Pressure release wheelchairs may also be used which tilt to help in position changes.  For persons confined to a bed, there are specialized cushions, mattress pads, and air-filled or water-filled mattresses designed to alleviate pressure and protect vulnerable areas.  Additionally, cushions should be used to reduce pressure between bony areas such as the hip, knees, and ankles.

Skin Care
Careful inspection of the skin is necessary to identify stage 1 sores before they worsen.  The skin should be thoroughly inspected at least once a day.  Additionally, it is important to keep the skin clean, wash regularly and pat dry.  The skin should be kept at an optimal moisture level, skin that is exposed to excess moisture can be kept dry with powders, while skin that is excessively dry should have lotion applied.  Additionally, assistance in managing incontinence is an important factor in overall skin care health.

Proper nutrition is an important factor contributing to skin health and healing.  Often, those that are at risk of developing bedsores are often the same ones that are malnourished either because of a loss of appetite or inability to properly feed themselves.  A doctor or dietitian can give recommendations for the proper amount of calories, fluids, proteins, and minerals in your diet.  A plan may include adding supplements such as vitamin C or zinc to further promote good skin health.  Assistance with feeding may be needed to ensure that meals and fluids are being consumed.

Bedsores and Negligent Care

Once a person is identified as being at increased risk for bed sores, measures should be undertaken to reduce or eliminate those risks.  Thus, healthcare providers must be aware of these risk factors when caring for patients in order to prevent the unnecessary development of pressure sores.  Tragically, too many victims who are vulnerable to the development of bedsores are not capable of complaining of the discomfort or pain they are enduring, or of taking measures of their own to eliminate the factors leading to the development of the bedsores.   The failure of a nursing home to develop and implement a care plan to address a patient’s risk for skin breakdown too often results in the development of bedsores or pressure ulcers which would otherwise have been preventable.  Unless health care providers are held accountable for this form of silent neglect, it is difficult to see how the disturbing rate of preventable bedsores, especially in the elderly, will ever be eliminated.

Don’t Miss Your Filing Deadline!

Time is of the essence when pursuing a medical malpractice claim. Indiana law imposes strict deadlines (also called “statutes of limitations”) in medical malpractice cases that will forever bar the claim if it is not filed in a timely manner. The law relating to the deadline can be exceedingly complex; therefore, one should not delay in consulting a qualified medical malpractice attorney to determine the applicable statute of limitations and review the case.

How to Request a Free Evaluation of Your Claim Today.

If you believe you may have a potential medical malpractice claim, The Powless Law Firm, P.C. would like to help. You can request a free case consultation today by calling us at 877-769-5377 or by submitting the free case consultation request form on this page.  Here is important information you should know about us:

  • ● We concentrate upon medical malpractice and nursing home neglect claims, and have years of experience and success in doing so.
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  • ● We are committed to providing the attention and resources required in these complex cases to help make a difference for those harmed by medical malpractice, and to help force changes that will help protect others.
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