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By Joseph Dell
Managing Partner

Decubitus ulcers, which are commonly known as bedsores, are painful injuries to the skin and underlying tissue. Nursing home residents with mobility issues are prone to developing bedsores. Bedsores often affect the shoulder blades, ankles, and hips of victims. Nursing homes are required to take steps to prevent residents from forming bedsores. Unfortunately, however, many nursing homes fail to do so, thereby causing residents to develop this serious condition. In this article, we discuss whether bedsores are a sign of nursing home abuse and neglect.  

Bedsore Symptoms

Bedsores are a sign of nursing home abuse and neglect. Common symptoms of bedsores include:

  • Changes in skin texture or color 
  • Draining
  • Swelling
  • Changes in skin temperature
  • Tenderness

Common Sites of Bedsores

Nursing home residents who use wheelchairs and are confined to beds are at high risk of developing bedsores. For those who use wheelchairs, bedsores typically form on the following sites:

  • Buttocks
  • Tailbone
  • Spine
  • Shoulder blades
  • Backs of legs and arms

And for those nursing home residents who are confined to their beds, bedsores often develop on these locations:  

  • Sides of the head
  • Back of the head
  • Shoulder blades
  • Hips
  • Lower back
  • Tailbone
  • Ankles
  • Heels
  • Skin behind the knees

Causes of Bedsores

As noted above, bedsores are often the result of nursing home abuse and neglect. Specifically, those who reside in nursing homes often develop bedsores when nursing home employees fail to reposition them. Causes of bedsores among nursing home residents include: 

  • Limited mobility: Nursing home residents who have limited mobility are at risk of developing bedsores if they aren’t frequently repositioned by nursing home staff members. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, nursing homes routinely fail to reposition residents as required, and this causes the formation of bedsores. 
  • Friction: Prolonged friction on one area of the skin can result in bedsores. For example, when an area of a person’s skin constantly rubs against his or her bedding or clothing, bedsores can form. Therefore, nursing home employees should remain cognizant of this risk when transporting patients who have mobility issues. 
  • Pressure: Finally, bedsores can form when pressure is applied to the skin for a prolonged period of time. For example, when a resident of a nursing home stays in one position for a long time without being repositioned by staff, this can result in bedsores.

Contact a Long Island Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer 

Nursing homes have a legal obligation to protect their residents from injuries. Unfortunately, however, they sometimes fail to do so. If you or a loved one are a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, Dell & Dean, PLLC, is on your side. When you come to us for help, we will work diligently to hold the facility financially accountable for its actions. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation with a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney

About the Author
Joseph G. Dell, the firm’s Managing Partner, is regarded as one of New York State’s top trial lawyers and a zealous advocate of those injured through the negligence of others. Having founded the firm in 1994 with the singular goal of leveling the playing field for those injured, Mr. Dell has worked tirelessly for his clients since its inception. In addition to meeting with clients on a daily basis and trying cases, Mr. Dell is a frequent lecturer at Law School and Bar Associations on cases of significant importance in the fields of negligence and medical malpractice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact Mr. Dell here.