People who have never seen a bedsore are often startled at how deep they can get on a nursing home patient’s body. Left untreated, pressure sores, which are properly called decubitus ulcers, can kill a patient.

These sores develop when the skin of bedbound patients, or those with very low mobility who sit for prolonged periods in the same chair, gets irritated. The pressure of the body on the skin, particularly over bony areas like hips and ankles, can cause breaks in the skin. Unless the area is cleaned and kept dry and bandaged, the skin becomes more ulcerated. Tissue can become necrotic and the infection can quickly spread.

Bedsores can develop quickly, even over a single shift at a nursing home. That makes it imperative that each nurse and nurse’s aide inspect and evaluate each patient’s skin integrity on every shift to determine whether any skin breakages from friction, pressure or shear have occurred.

When the skin is not checked and any anomalies treated, it can indicate neglect on the part of the caregivers.

If you have a relative or other loved one who is a resident at a nursing home or other long term care facility, if you see signs of bedsores beginning on a patient, let staff know. If the person doesn’t get prompt treatment or if their condition worsens without medical intervention, they could be at terrible risk.

An Albequerque personal injury attorney can offer guidance and advice in situations involving nursing homes where the medical staff neglected the patients and allowed bedsores to develop and flourish.