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
A company called Wellsense recently developed an alert monitor that tracks pressure points on a patient’s body. This system is going to help caregivers when it comes to adjusting the patient’s position every few hours in order to reduce the development of bedsores.
The Monitor Alert Project (MAP) is a monitor-connected mattress. The caregiver is able to read specific areas of the patient’s body that may be prone to developing bedsores. According to the manufacturer, it is possible to use the system on any existing bed. Instead of relying on gut feelings when repositioning the patient, the system will provide actual pressure distribution data.
Why a change is necessary
While a bedsore sounds relatively innocent when we talk about the first of the four stages (a reddening of the pressure spot on the skin), it is important to note that it is a preventable problem that may lead to an open sore and a sunken hole in the skin. In fact, the fourth stage of a bedsore involves an ulcer that does damage to the bone, the muscle, and often even to the tendons.
Truth be told, it is a serious issue that kills 60,000 Americans every year. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in 2012, elderly patients who developed bedsores while in the hospital were more likely to be readmitted within 30 days of their discharge, stay in the hospital longer, and were more likely to die.
The truth about the matter
The truth is that while the MAP system is going to be helpful, it will do very little unless nursing homes and hospitals address the issue of understaffing. The problems with bedsores are certain preventable in an easy way, but it is important for staff to be consistent. While the monitor is certainly going to help in identifying certain problem areas, it is still important to have staff there to do the actual turning.
In the event that you believe that staff members are not providing adequate care for you or your loved one, it is always important to seek legal counsel. While it is important to speak out on what is currently happening, remember that keeping silent might mean that something similar happens to other people down the road.