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What Responsibilities do Health Care Facilities Have to Prevent Bed Sores?

Health Care Facilities Health care facilities must prevent, identify, and treat bed sores. Also, they must employ, secure, and notify all medical professionals necessary to ensure your health.

Federal law, state law, and various regulatory bodies have set forth several rules and responsibilities for health care facilities regarding their residents and the issue of bed sores. Generally, the rules and responsibilities relate to the prevention or treatment of this condition. Typically, the facilities most governed by these mandates are nursing homes and hospitals. However, there are other institutions that come within the orbit of these laws. Therefore, understanding them is crucial to knowing just how patients are to be protected from bed sores.

  1. What Are The Laws Surrounding Bed Sores In Illinois?
  2. Who Is Covered By Bed Sore Laws?
  3. What Must Facilities Do To Prevent Bed Sores?
  4. What Must Facilities Do Once Patients Develop Bed Sores?
  5. Was Someone Else Responsible For Your Bed Sores?

What Are The Laws Surrounding Bed Sores In Illinois?

The federal government has taken an active interest in the well-being of the elderly and infirm especially in regards to bed sores. Through the United States Department of Health and Human Services, it has set up various agencies and administrations to enacts laws and regulations to that effect. Additionally, Illinois' Department of Public Health has taken additional measures to protect this vulnerable group of people from pressure sores. Generally, both state and federal rules require care facilities (such as hospitals and nursing homes) to create plans and procedures to prevent bed sores, enforce monitoring to identify the emergence of bed sores, and take affirmative action to fight the spread of bed sores.

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Who Is Covered By Bed Sore Laws?

Generally, any person admitted to a long-term care facility is covered by bed sore laws. But you can be in other kinds of institutions and still be covered by these protections. The key is to identify if you are vulnerable to the same kinds of threats that the laws imagine. In this instance, the threats imaged are the birth, spread, and deterioration of bed sores.

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What Must Facilities Do To Prevent Bed Sores?

Regarding long-term care facilities, they have specific obligations to prevent bed sores. The law requires that those entering facilities do not develop them unless it is unavoidable due to their health and that they receive adequate care necessary in order to prevent the growth of any existing or developing sores. 42 CFR § 483.25(c)(1) and (2) (1998). Clinical guidelines give specific recommendations on treatment and care once patients display sores while living in long-term facilities (nursing homes), including but not limited to the following:

  • assessment
  • managing tissue
  • ulcer care

Assessment is critical to the determination of a plan of care, and should initially look to determine the size, location and severity of the sores. However, once sores have been identified, the clinician should also do a holistic assessment of the patient by taking note of his or her entire medical history, diet, other pain throughout the body, and any other issue that may delay or prevent the healing process. [Clinical Practice Guideline no. 15] Guidelines highlight the need for prompt attention and care to all patients as well as regular communications between the doctor and facility staff.

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What Must Facilities Do Once Patients Develop Bed Sores?

Once patients have developed pressure sores, guidelines identify ways to manage tissue loads to maintain the problem. First, nursing home staff should not position patients so that they are putting significant weight on any sore, and they should use devices to keep sores off of any surface. Second, they should create and monitor a repositioning schedule for all patients with sores and assess the risk that any of them might develop additional sores. Finally, if after all methods have been exhausted and the sores continue to worsen, they should use pressure-reducing methods such as foam, water, or alternating air.

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Was Someone Else Responsible For Your Bed Sores?

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC knows that those who suffer from bed sores are some of our most vulnerable members of society. Therefore, we get to work quickly on their behalf so they recover everything that they deserve when someone else is to blame for these injuries. Also, we front everything ourselves and ask for nothing until the dispute is over. This ensures your loved ones don't have to worry about anything except your health during the lawsuit. Want to hear more? Call Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC today and hear about how we can help you hold those responsible accountable.

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