Wheel chair next to bed in nursing home

My Loved One Has a Bedsore. Could It Be a Sign of Nursing Home Neglect?

By Steven Miller
Senior Partner

Nursing home neglect is a persistent problem throughout the country. In the year 2020 alone, there were over 15,000 complaints of nursing home abuse or neglect filed, with 14% (2,100) of those reports concerning gross neglect. One common sign of nursing home neglect is the presence of bedsores on the patient. Recognizing this and other evidence that your loved one is not being taken care of is essential to demanding justice and compensation.

Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. advocates on behalf of nursing home patients who have been injured by neglect, abuse, and irresponsible conduct. We’re ready to review your case today.

What are bedsores and why do they occur?

Also called pressure sores, bedsores are injuries that develop in immobile (usually bedridden) nursing home patients. These painful sores occur when pressure from the patient’s weight restricts blood supply to the skin and tissue. The tissue can die and open up, leaving a wound that can easily become infected if it is not properly and promptly treated.

Among the most basic responsibilities of nursing home staff members is to monitor their patients. That includes taking steps to shift and move patients so they are not lying or sitting constantly in the same place and develop bedsores as a result. Basically, these sores should not occur if the patient is being treated well. If not, the patient and his or her family may have cause for legal action.

Why bedsores are so serious

In addition to being painful, bedsores can lead to the potentially life-threatening complication of sepsis. These injuries may take months to heal and can aggravate other underlying health problems. They can be found on different parts of the body, including:

  • Hips
  • Lower back
  • Tailbone
  • Back or side of the head
  • Shoulder blades
  • Ankles
  • Heels

How bedsores point to negligence

Numerous factors make bedsores more likely to occur, including:

  • Inattentive staff
  • Understaffing
  • Unsanitary conditions
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Inexperience with how to treat patients and bedsores
  • Wet or tender skin
  • Constant friction against sheets and linens

These conditions should not be present if the nursing home is responsibly taking action to prevent abuse or neglect.

Symptoms to look for

As a family member, it will likely be your job to be the advocate your loved one needs. Nursing home patients are often isolated, lack sufficient mental capacity to understand they are being neglected, or too intimidated to speak up. By recognizing these and other symptoms, you can take a step in helping your loved one get the help they need:

  • Sore or tender areas of the skin
  • Unusual changes in skin color
  • Changes in skin texture
  • Swelling
  • Pus-like draining
  • An area of skin that feels warmer or cooler to the touch relative to other areas

Bedsores are generally categorized in stages, with each successive stage indicating more severity. Stage 4 bedsores are the most serious and can cause extensive damage to deep tissues, tendons, and joints.

Contact Our Nursing Home Injury Team

Bedsores are a strong indication of nursing home neglect. Everyone who resides in a nursing home should be treated with the highest level of professional care and dignity. When this doesn’t happen, and a patient develops bedsores and other injuries, there will likely be extensive medical bills, pain and suffering and emotional distress, and sometimes even death. Your family member deserves better than this.

Contact Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. today to learn how our dedicated nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer can stand up for your loved one. Call us today.

About the Author
Steven Miller, Esq. is the founding member and Senior Partner in Miller, Montiel & Strano, P.C. Mr. Miller’s extensive career as a trial attorney spans five decades. He tries cases for the catastrophically injured victims of construction site accidents, motor vehicle and premises accidents caused by the negligence of others. Mr. Miller is a detail oriented, tenacious attorney committed to achieving the maximum results for his clients; he has obtained numerous seven figure verdicts and settlements.