Bed Sore

7. My bedridden father has developed a bed sore.  Does this mean that he has been neglected?

Bed sores result from a breakdown of skin. They are frequently occur when a nursing home resident is left in one position.  The small blood vessels near the skin are blocked and the skin itself falls apart. Left untreated, a bedsore (also called a pressure ulcer) can result in infection of the skin, muscle and bone. Bed sores are extremely painful and can the entry point for bacteria and germs.  The most common sites for bed sores are where bones protrude, such as the hips, elbows, shoulders and ankles.

Nursing home residents who are bedridden or wheelchair bound are at risk for bed sores. Your father’s patient care plan should provide that nursing home staff physically move your father’s arms, legs and body to prevent the formation of a bed sore.

If a bed sore does develop, it needs to be treated immediately.  It has been our experience that some patients will develop bed sores despite preventative efforts.  If, however, your father’s bed sore was not detected quickly resulting in a serious infection, or there is evidence to suggest that his bed sores developed because he was left in one position for many hours, you should investigate further.

Click here to link to the National Decubitis Organization to learn more about bed sore diagnosis and treatment.