Bedsores in Oregon Nursing Homes Due to Malpractice

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How to Effectively Treat Bedsores in Oregon Nursing Homes: Portland Nursing Home Abuse Attorney


Placing a loved one in a nursing home is one of the most difficult decisions many people have to make in life. You are placing your full trust in practically strangers, hoping they will truly care for your loved one. When that loved one has a medical problem, such as bedsores, you expect it will be treated properly and effectively. However, proper care is not always the case. Many doctors and medical staff, and general nursing home staff, do even more damage with their negligent actions. Contact our Oregon nursing home abuse attorney today if you believe your loved one’s bedsores were negligently cared for in a nursing home.  This is because bedsores in Oregon nursing homes can cause serious personal injuries or the wrongful death of an innocent person.  


Bedsores Explained


One in every four nursing home resident has had bedsores, studies have shown. Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are ulcers that form on areas of skin that have been under pressure, such as those pressured while lying in bed, sitting in a wheelchair, or wearing a cast for a long period of time. As we have previously discussed, what becomes crucial with bedsores is preventing infection at the site. An elderly nursing home resident is more at risk for bedsores because they are engaging in the exact activities that give way to bedsores and bedsore infections. If the patient also has diabetes, circulation problems, or poor nutrition, their risk increases even higher for bedsores in Oregon nursing homes.


Bedsore Stages, from Mildest to Most Severe


However, this gloomy outlook does not have to be so, if the proper and most effective medical treatment is carried out. To fully comprehend the treatments available to nursing home residents today, it is necessary to understand the various phases that a bedsore goes through. From mildest to most severe, Stage I is the mildest:


  • Stage I: the area is reddened and does not turn white when pressed
  • Stage II: the skin blisters or forms an open sore, which may be surrounded by a red and irritated area
  • Stage III: a sunken hole in the skin forms. Body fat may be visible in the hole
  • Stage IV: ulcer is so deep it has damaged muscle and bone, sometimes tendons and joints


It should be noted that not all bedsores take these forms. Some bedsores look differently than this timeline. For example, some sores can be covered in yellow, tan, green, or brown dead skin. Others may form in the tissue far below the skin and take a dark purple or maroon color.  


If you smell a foul odor, there is pus, or you have a fever, your bedsores may already be infected.  This is a very serous complication that could result in serious personal injuries.


Properly Treating Bedsores in Oregon Nursing Homes


The more severe the bedsore, and higher stage it is in, the harder it is to treat. Although bedsores in Stages I and II can typically be healed if the individual takes care of it, that is much more difficult to impossible for nursing home residents. Depending on the severity of the bedsores and how independent the nursing home patient is, a doctor or nurse will likely have to intervene, regardless of the stage that the bedsore is in. 


Physicians and the medical staff taking care of a nursing home resident’s bedsores will closely monitor the sore or sores and document their size, depth, color, and any other relevant attributes.


For the most severe bedsores, the following are standard treatments, either individually, or in conjunction with others:


  • Skin grafts – transplanting healthy skin to the wound
  • Debridement – removing the damaged, infected, and dead skin
  • Negative pressure wound therapy – draws fluid and infection out from the wound. Needs to be properly bandaged.
  • Medications – antibiotics to treat infections, as well as Advil, Aleve, or Motrin, to reduce the pain
  • Proper nutrition
  • Keeping the wound clean with medicated gauze, saline solution, or another solution recommended by the doctor
  • Removing pressure on the impacted area


Still, since many nursing home patients need full assistance carrying out daily tasks, even the milder bedsores will require treatment by a doctor, nurse, or other medical and non-medical staff at the nursing home. These tasks may include:


  • Changing positions often – those in wheelchairs or bedridden should be assisted in doing this
  • Reducing the pressure – different pillows, foams, items are placed where the pressure is. Again, nursing home patients should be assisted with this.
  • Clean the sore every time the dressing is changed and moisturize, if applicable
  • Determine what type of dressing will be the most effective in healing
  • Use a solution recommended by the doctor, or saline
  • Hydrogen peroxide or iodine cleaners should not be used
  • New sores should be alerted to medical staff immediately
  • Proper nutrition
  • Light exercise may be useful for some residents, to aid circulation 


Doctors and medical staff at the nursing home should not massage on or around the wound. Additionally, donut-shaped or ring-shaped cushions will also worsen the condition of the bedsore(s). If you would like to know more about whether proper medical treatment was carried out with respect to a loved one’s bedsores, contact our Oregon nursing home abuse attorney today.


Ask Our Experienced Legal Team for Help with Bedsores in Oregon Nursing Homes


If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect contact the Oregon Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.  


Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.  


We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Nursing Home Abuse cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.  


Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.

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