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Articles Posted in Bed Sore Injury (Pressure Sores)

Hospitals In Illinois that are BADA national hospital safety watchdog group has just issued its semi-annual report card on U.S. hospitals, giving 46 Illinois hospitals an “A” grade and four a “D” for patient care. The state was ranked 11 overall among states, an improvement from 14th place in spring 2019.

The nonprofit Leapfrog Group grades hospitals on how well they protect patients from medical errors, injuries and infections.

Of the 108 Illinois hospitals surveyed, 46 earned an A, 19 earned a B, and 39 earned a C. Of the four that received a D, only one is outside the Chicago area: UnityPoint Health in Pekin, Illinois. The rest were Mount Sinai Hospital, John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital, and University of Illinois Hospital.  None received an F.

Bed Sores and the VernacularIn April of 2016, the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel announced a change in terminology from “pressure ulcer” to “pressure injury” to better reflect the description of pressure injuries to both intact and ulcerated skin. The changes eliminated confusion surrounding the subject and the stages of injury.

The existing stages of pressure injury were also updated and changed to Arabic numbers from Roman numerals. Over four hundred professionals attended a meeting about the terminology change from “pressure ulcer” to “pressure injury” as well as the changes to the stages of pressure injuries. A consensus confirmed the change.

What Is a Pressure Injury?

The beginning of a pressure sore can creep up.Patients are often relieved when the doctor finally diagnoses them with an acute or chronic condition that can be effectively treated in a hospital or medical facility setting. While the medical condition might take weeks or months to properly manage or heal, hospital professionals have access to the best medical information and training to assist the patient’s recovery. While there are many challenges in assisting patients in the hospital, most problems that happen when treating a specific condition is usually expected. But what about problems that creep up unexpectedly, such as developing bedsores?

Getting Worse Instead of Better

Anytime an individual is admitted to the hospital, they expect to be provided optimal health care from highly trained providers who use the latest advancements in medicine. However, it is not uncommon for hospital patients to leave in worse condition than when they arrived. Unfortunately, patients suffering any type of disease, illness or injury are always susceptible to developing pressure sores when and where they least expect it, especially if the facility is understaffed or mismanaged.

Ulcers that are like Superman's KryptoniteIt is hard to imagine it has already been 10 years since Christopher Reeve died. The handsome leading actor who brought the cartoon comic adventure hero Superman to the big screen suffered injuries when he fell from a horse in 1995, finally succumbing in 2004.

As an accomplished horseman, the actor had been riding since 1985 and had participated in various equestrian competitions for years. Reeve was injured in his last equestrian dressage event, when his horse failed to jump a barrier during the competition. The actor was thrown over the horse, landing on the top rail of the barrier.

After waking up in the hospital a few days later, Reeve was informed by his doctors that the accident destroyed both the first and second vertebrae in his spine. This meant that the actor’s spinal column was no longer connected to the skull. As a result of the accident, Christopher spent his remaining years bound to a wheelchair without the capacity to perform any action from the neck down.

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Wound Care Specialists to Treat Bed SoresFor many individuals, especially the ill, disabled and elderly, spending extended amounts of time lying or sitting in the same position is unavoidable. For those individuals who cannot move about, or hardly move at all, the potential of developing bedsores increases significantly. A bedsore (pressure sore; pressure ulcer; decubitus ulcer) is caused by pressure on the body, which can kill or damage skin and result in an open life-threatening wound.

Unfortunately, bedsores are an all too common occurrence in medical facility environments including assisted-living homes and nursing homes. Even though medical professionals are trained to provide quality care, many are often challenged with keeping patients bedsore free. As a result, some nursing homes are turning to outside wound care specialists for help.

How Bedsores Develop

Death due to Bed Sores.Hospital-acquired bedsores have been linked directly to increased mortality rates of patients receiving care in hospital environments. The Journal of American Geriatrics Society published a study led by UCLA that directly correlates death rates and pressure sores acquired in hospitals. The report concludes that study patients developing decubitus ulcers (bedsores; pressure ulcers; pressure sores) had a higher incident rate of suffering a bed sore fatality during the hospital stay compared to those without pressure sores.

UCLA Study Regarding Hospital Pressure Sore Mortality

The study conducted by UCLA shows that pressure ulcers acquired in the hospital were a crucial risk factor in the death of patients. As a result, the study recommends that hospitals quickly identify any patient with a potentially high risk for developing a bedsore and take all necessary preventative measures once the patient is admitted, including creating and implementing interventions.

Common Medical Error Results in BedsoresIn September 2014, the Indiana State Department of Health reported that severe bedsores (Stage III and Stage IV) are on the rise at the state’s clinics and hospitals. In its recently released medical errors report, the state claims this number is up by one-half over the total number of all medical mistake-related cases in 2012. This alarming increase represents pressure sores (decubitus ulcers) acquired after the patient’s admission.

The Indiana medical error report of 2012 indicated 30 known cases of advanced stage bedsores throughout the state’s medical facilities. In a study conducted in 2014, the number had risen to 45 reported cases in the subsequent year. The statistics in the last eight years compiled by the Department of Health indicates that pressure sores continue to be the most reported incidents of medical errors in seven of those years.

Statistics managed by Health and Human Services show that errors by medical staff remain one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., ranking third after heart disease and cancer. For eight years, the Indiana State Department of Health has required hospitals and clinics report serious adverse events in their facilities. These include hospitals, birthing centers, abortion clinics and ambulatory surgery centers.

Bed Sore PreventionBedsores are a serious problem in nursing homes and in care facilities. In fact, the Healthcare Management Council stated that it might be the most widespread hospital-acquired condition and certainly counts as the second most expensive condition. According to the estimates, bedsores cost a facility approximately $536,900 every year. When it comes to putting a monetary value on a patient acquiring a bedsore, the extra care costs approximately $9,200 per patient.

Perhaps even worse is the fact that if the nursing home staff takes appropriate measures, bedsores are very much preventable. The development or worsening of bedsores may indicate inadequate or negligent care on behalf of the staff. Part of the problem happens to be the fact that most nursing homes are looking to decrease their onsite staff in order to cut expenses.

A change may prevent bedsores

Methods For Pain Relief Methods For Pain Relief From Pressure Sores

Pressure sores can be painful and decrease the quality of life of the patients that live with them. Prevention of the sores is always the best solution but once they have appeared, they must be monitored and mediated to promote healing and deter further deterioration of the wound site. In the mean time, the pain associated with the sores must be managed, which can be a difficult process.

Different Reasons For Pain

Can A Mattress Make a Difference in Bed Sore PreventionA great number of nursing home residents (approximately 11 percent) suffer from pressure sores. Not only are these pressure sores extremely painful, but they may also be life-threatening if these sores become infected. The primary reason that nursing home patients suffer from these pressure sores is that nursing home staff members fail to provide (temporary) relief by turning the patient regularly. In order to prevent pressure sores, it is important for staff members to turn residents every two hours. However, research suggests that something else may help alleviate these problems.

A new high-tech mattress

Nancy Bergstrom, Ph.D., Houston School of Nursing associate dean at The University of Texas Health Science Center is leading a study into high-density foam mattresses for nursing home residents. She and other researchers found that when nursing homes use these high-density foam mattresses, it is not necessary to turn a resident every two hours in order to help prevent the development of pressure sores.