The three leading causes of bedsores in nursing homes include friction, pressure, and shear. They are also known as skin ulcers or pressure sores. Residents with limited ability to reposition themselves, who cannot sense the need to move, or who cannot feed themselves are at risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “about 2% to 28% of nursing home residents have pressure ulcers.” While several health conditions can contribute to bedsores, negligence usually plays a critical role. 

At Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP, we have handled many cases of nursing home abuse and neglect in Dallas, and your loved one will benefit from our experience. We are experienced in handling the convoluted legal system surrounding nursing home litigation in Texas and will work to get your loved one better care as soon as possible. Schedule a free, comprehensive consultation. A Dallas bedsores lawyer can help.  

Reason #1: Pressure, Friction and Shear

Pressure ulcers are debilitating chronic wounds that occur in elderly populations with physical or cognitive impairments and multiple comorbidities. The three leading causes are as follows:  

  • Pressure: When a person sits or lies in the same position for extended periods without movement, the skin and underlying tissues break down. This condition is most common in bedridden patients. 
  • Friction: When staff move or reposition patients, their skin can rub against surfaces such as bedding, clothing, or wheelchairs. Over time, this friction can irritate and damage the skin. 
  • Shear: This happens when an action or force causes two objects to move in opposite directions. In this case, the patient’s skin remains stationary while muscles and bones are pushed forward. This could starve healthy tissue of nutrients by restricting blood vessels. 

Therapy for advanced stages of bed sores is costly and prolonged. Ideally, a physician and multidisciplinary nursing team are essential for prevention and treatment. However, this level of care is often lacking in most nursing homes.

Reason #2: Chronic Health Conditions

Several long-term health conditions could significantly increase a person’s risk of developing bedsores. These conditions usually reduce mobility or disrupt blood circulation. Here are some examples: 

  • Paralysis: A person unable to move their legs or arms could quickly develop bed sores. The condition is common in people with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, and other health conditions that restrict mobility. 
  • Diabetes: Poor blood flow to the extremities is a significant health risk for diabetes patients. The reduced circulation can make the skin more susceptible to damage from pressure and friction. Diabetic patients often have other conditions, such as nerve damage, which can complicate treatment. 
  • Malnutrition: Malnourished patients in poor general health are also at a higher risk of developing bedsores.  
  • Vascular disease: Certain vascular diseases can restrict or impair blood flow, making it difficult for the skin to get essential nutrients and oxygen. This condition causes the skin to be more susceptible to damage from pressure and other forces. 
  • Alzheimer’s or Dementia: Bedsore risks associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia include frailty, poor blood supply, lack of exercise, poor eating habits, restlessness, and incontinence. 

Reason #3: Negligence in Nursing Homes

In most cases, bedsores are entirely preventable with proper care. However, nursing home staff may fail to provide that care due to negligence, such as:   

  • Failure to regularly reposition bedridden patients.  
  • Neglecting personal hygiene can lead to infections and skin breakdown. 
  • Inadequate nutrition or hydration for residents. 
  • Lack of attention and care for patients with reduced mobility. 

Finally, they tend to develop in areas like the lower back, heels of the foot, buttocks, and shoulder blades, which will have pressure placed on these parts for long periods. 

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Bedsores can have debilitating and even life-threatening consequences for your loved one in a nursing home. They are a serious and common medical problem and remain a public health issue. If nursing home abuse is suspected, the family member most closely involved in the life of the nursing home resident should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately. The statute of limitations can quickly expire, leaving them without legal recourse. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our nursing home abuse lawyer.