As a New Jersey and Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawfirm, we have frequently posted on many topics involving nursing home abuse and, in particular, pressure ulcers and bed sores. In this next series of posts, we will provide nursing home patients and their families with tips that may help prevent pressure ulcers and bedsores from ever developing in the first place. The old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is not an exaggeration when it comes to the prevention of nursing home abuse in the form of pressure ulcers and bedsores.
Tip #1 for Avoiding Bedsores
Tip 1: Make sure the nursing home has properly assessed the potential risk for a bedsore and pressure ulcer. Part of the law that governs nursing homes, 42 C.F.R. 483.25(c), relates to bed sores (also referred to as: pressure sores, pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers):
Based on the comprehensive assessment of a resident, the facility must ensure that:
(1) A resident who enters the facility without pressure sores does not develop pressure sores unless the individual’s clinical condition demonstrates that they were unavoidable; and
(2) A resident having pressure sores receives necessary treatment and services to promote healing, prevent infection and prevent new sores from developing.
Nursing home abuse lawyers will always tell you that a bed sore or pressure ulcer risk assessment is the first preventive method for any patient in a nursing home or an assisted living facility. All bed-bound or chair-bound patients in a nursing home or nursing home patients whose ability to reposition themselves is impaired, are to be considered at a risk for pressure ulcers. As a nursing home patient, or the family member of a nursing home patient, the first thing you should do is ask the nursing home if they have assessed the potential risk of developing a pressure ulcer or bedsore in the chart.
What is the Braden Scale?
All nursing homes use the Braden Scale for Predicting Pressure Sore Risk to help identify nursing home patients who are at a high risk for the development of pressure ulcers or bed sores. As a nursing home patient or family member or a nursing home patient, you should ask to see the nursing home chart to determine what Braden Scale level of risk has been assigned to you or your loved one. A Braden Scale score of 12 or less is considered to by a “high risk” for that patient to develop a bed sore or pressure ulcer in a nursing home.
If the nursing home has not assigned a high risk for a pressure ulcer, bed sore or pressure sore to a nursing home patient, you should ask the nursing home why. This is the first step any nursing home patient should take to prevent a bedsore or pressure ulcer from ever developing.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia
If your loved one has acquired a bedsore or pressure ulcer at a nursing home, you should seek the counsel of a nursing home abuse lawyer. You can contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.
Look for future posts from a New Jersey nursing home abuse lawyer on other preventive measures to prevent the development of pressure ulcers and bedsores.