Developing a bedsore is a serious concern for people of any age, but for the elderly whose bodies cannot fight off infections or heal as well as younger individuals, they can be life-threatening. These sores develop when pressure is placed on one area of the skin without movement for a long period of time. This results in the area’s tissues dying from oxygen deprivation. They may also form due to sudden friction or sheering, such as if the skin stays in place while the rest of the body moves.
Bedsores are also known as pressure ulcers and decubitus ulcers. No matter what they’re called, if your loved one has developed one or more of these wounds, they need immediate medical attention.
How serious can a bedsore get?
The reality is that a bedsore can lead to complications, such as life-threatening cellulitis, sepsis, cancer or bone and joint infections.
What should you do if your loved one has a bedsore?
Bedsores are serious and should be treated as soon as possible. The person’s weight should be shifted regularly to take the pressure off that area of the body. If an infection has already set in, antibiotics and fluids are needed to help the area heal and prevent further complications.
For patients who have signs of sepsis, call 911. This life-threatening blood infection takes lives quickly, so a rapid response is needed.
Are bedsores a red flag that a nursing home is abusive or negligent?
Bedsores normally don’t form unless a person is not mobile or the skin faces unusual stress. A bedsore could be a sign that the nurses at the facility are not moving your loved one regularly or that they are not assisting them with other needs, such as getting up to go to the bathroom or to go to eat.
If your loved one has a bedsore, the best thing you can do is to call a hospital and get them medical care immediately. After that, you can talk to the facility to see why this happened and take steps to prevent it from occurring again in the future.