Oklahoma Nursing Home Bed Sores Practice Areas
“WE SAFEGUARD THE ELDERLY”…Nursing homes know that constant pressure on an elderly person’s skin will cause bed sores. Incredibly, bed sores, also referred to as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers are a leading cause of injury, pain, disfigurement and death of nursing home residents. It is incredible because proper care from the nursing home staff can preclude the vast majority of these injuries from ever occurring.
Federal and State regulations provide detailed requirements to nursing homes on how to prevent bed sores; however, nursing homes frequently ignore instructions. These regulations include the requirement that the nursing home must: (1) turn and reposition a resident every two hours; (2) perform regular skin assessments to monitor the condition of a resident’s skin; and (3) develop a ‘Care Plan’ that addresses the risk factors of developing a bed sore.
Additional laws note that when a resident has already developed a bed sore, or is at high risk for the development of a bed sore, the nursing home must promptly address the bed sore risk in the resident’s Care Plan and take measures to prevent the bed sore from worsening. These preventative measures may include: (1) turning and repositioning the resident more frequently; (2) special diet and nutrition programs; (3) air mattresses and other protective devices in order to relieve pressure on the bed sores; and in extreme cases (4) a referral to wound care clinics so that the wound can be treated by specialists.
Invariably, all of these preventative measures require additional effort by the nursing home, which costs the nursing home additional funds it may not want to spend. Staffing is one of the most expensive lines in a nursing home’s budget. Frequently, nursing home owners reap hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in profits per nursing home. This is money that should be reinvested in the nursing home for resident care. The result is predictable: a dramatic increase in bed sores among Oklahoma’s nursing home residents.
If you or someone you know has experienced a “bed sore” (aka “pressure ulcer” or “decubitus ulcer”), contact GREER & MCGILL P.C. now! Speak up for your loved one that cannot speak for themselves.