When you have a loved one living in a nursing home, you expect the person to be treated with the utmost care. Staff must provide medications and therapies, perform meal prep, and help patients who are bedridden or have limited mobility get around safely and securely.
While many nursing homes and assisted living facilities meet and exceed these expectations, others fall short. This can directly harm residents, particularly when bedsores are an issue. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, bedsores are caused by a lack of blood flow to a part of the body for a prolonged time. This leads to painful irritation, which eventually develops into a sore or wound. There are four stages of bedsores, and nursing home staff must take the right steps to prevent them from occurring, and make sure quality care is available if they do.
Damage is relatively minor at this stage. Depending on the person’s complexion, stage 1 bedsores can appear red or have a bluish/purplish tint. The skin will also feel warm, and the patient may experience a burning or itching sensation. Intervention at stage 1 is crucial to prevent more harmful effects from occurring.
Minor redness will have developed into a sore or blister by this stage. The skin will be broken and significant pain and discomfort is expected. Staff must properly clean and dress the wound, as well as ensuring the patient does not put prolonged pressure on the area so it can heal.
The wound will grow deeper, exhibiting an appearance similar to a pit or crater in the skin. This indicates that damage is now occurring beneath the skin’s surface, which can lead to serious effects like infection.
The damage has now extended beneath the skin and to other tissues. Depending on how serious the bedsore is, this can include muscles, tendons, and bones. Surgery may be required at this point.