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Nursing home neglect can cause bedsores

Incidents of patient abuse in Connecticut nursing homes can come in various forms. Many are associated with nursing home staff physically assaulting patients, not adhering to a reasonable standard of care and committing other transgressions. However, there are other issues that can arise, and they are often more difficult to see. One that comes up all too often is when patients develop bedsores. Knowing what a bedsore is, how to recognize it and the damage that can accompany them are important for victims and their families.

Bedsores are also referred to as pressure sores or pressure ulcers. They result from the skin being placed under pressure for an extended period. They frequently occur on parts of the body that are bony, like the hips, tailbone, ankles and heels.

Those who are most vulnerable are people who have a medical problem that confines them to a bed or wheelchair and hinders their ability to move. These can happen in rapid fashion, and once they do, it can be hard to treat them.

There are several complications that accompany bedsores, and they can lead to long-term health problems. Sepsis happens if bacteria gets into the patient's bloodstream through the broken skin. It can then spread to the rest of the body and lead to the patient being at risk of death.

Cellulitis is a skin infection. With it comes pain, swelling and redness. If there is nerve damage, the patient might not even know that he or she has the problem. This too can cause death.

Infections of the bones and joints can be linked to bedsores. It can damage tissue and cartilage and affect the joints. And, cancer can arise from bedsores.

People who place an infirm or elderly loved one into a nursing facility are expecting them to receive proper care to avoid problems, such as bedsores. Unfortunately, there are times when patients are not cared for as they should be and bedsores develop.

A family member might realize that something is amiss with their loved one too late for there to be an effective treatment. If bedsores occur and there is damage to the patient, it could be the basis for a legal filing. Discussing the case with a legal professional experienced in cases related to nursing home neglect can provide guidance as to how to proceed.

Source: MayoClinic.org, "Bedsores (pressure sores)," accessed on April 3, 2017

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