Hospitals have an ongoing issue of overcrowding and understaffing. This has led to numerous problems over the years, such as unintentional neglect from overworked staff.
It is important for the advocates of hospitalized individuals to keep an eye out for potential signs of negligence in the staff. Bedsores could act as exactly that.
What are bedsores?
Mayo Clinic discusses the injuries called bedsores. Also called pressure ulcers, these injuries occur when a part of the body maintains in contact with something for an extended period of time.
Most commonly, this involves a patient who cannot move on their own, most of whom are bedridden – hence the name. It can also include people with low or limited mobility who may spend time in chairs or wheelchairs.
The pressure ulcer forms after a minimum of three hours, though some can occur sooner and others can occur much later. The lack of blood flow to the area can cause intense pain and may eventually lead to the skin splitting open or getting infected. Sometimes, the infections can even go as deep as the bone.
Why are they a red flag?
So why are bedsores potential signs of negligence? This is due to the fact that bedsores only form when a victim has been left in the same spot for hours at a time.
In hospitals that function properly, enough attendants should be around to make sure that every bedridden or low mobility person gets help moving every two or so hours, thus reducing the risk of bedsores to a huge degree.
When staff do not have enough people, it is easy for patients to fall between the cracks, to their detriment. Though it is not often malicious, neglect is still a serious issue that everyone should keep watch for.