Although the treatment of bedsores can be very difficult and challenging, prevention and aggressive wound care is always the best option. Unfortunately, most patients fall victim to bedsores and pressure ulcers due to under-staffed nursing homes and poorly trained medical personnel. And while medical personnel may claim that they are doing all that they can do to fix the problem, there are some practical ways for family members to get involved to ensure that the potentially fatal bedsore does not get worse.
First, patients in nursing homes who develop bedsores and/or pressure sores should be immediately assessed for transfer to a medical facility. If the patient has only developed a stage one ulcer, this can be treated with conservative treatment. That treatment would consist of the following:
- Immediately establish a turning and re-positioning schedule for the patient. This means that the patient should be moved every 15 minutes from one position to another.
Furthermore, the area in which the stage one ulcer has developed should be avoided all together. In addition, patients can use special cushions and pads to relieve pressure on the existing sores. These cushions consist of a variety of foam, air filled or water filled devices which cushion and protect the irritated and exposed skin.
If the ulcer progresses from stage one to stage two, transfer to a medical facility from the nursing home is strongly encouraged. Most stage two ulcers require more extensive and aggressive medical care and constant monitoring by trained professionals. Many nursing homes do not have the personnel, nor the programs in place to adequately treat these pressure sores.
Stage two pressure ulcers or bedsores can be treated non-surgically. Many doctors prescribe saline solution dressing to gently wash the infected area. And while full surgery is unavoidable at this stage, most patients will require some sort of surgical debridement. Debridement is a procedure where a doctor uses a scalpel to remove dead tissue. The body then reacts to the existing tissue and attempts to heal itself. The goal of the procedure is to improve the health of the infected tissue and to increase blood flow and regeneration of tissue. Following this procedure, careful monitoring is still required.
Admittedly, bedsores are much easier to prevent than to treat. However, if the sores are caught in the early stages, it is easy to see how family members can push for better treatment before the problem spirals out of control. It is ok (and highly recommended) that families keep on top of their loved one”s caregivers. Bedsores can be fatal if ignored or not properly cared for. However, if you monitor the situation to ensure that your loved one”s care follows the guidelines listed above, there is a greater chance of a full and uncomplicated recovery.
For more information on bedsore prevention or how to file a bedsore lawsuit in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, click on the following link: