Arvin-Pressure Ulcers in the Nursing Home
Reducing Pressure Ulcers Prevalence in Skilled Nursing Facilities
The city of Arvin has one nursing home serving its local older adult residents. The Los Angeles Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer, Ben Yeroushalmi, and his team of associate attorneys and experts want the locals of Arvin to know that due to preexisting health conditions and age-related biological changes, nursing home patients in Arvin are at high risk of developing injuries such as pressure ulcers.
Pressure ulcers, also known as ‘bedsores’, commonly develop due to pressure and shear. This type of injury is characterized by the break down of skin and superficial tissue when the area of skin experiences constant pressure for a certain period of time, leading to tissue ischaemia—a discontinuation of the oxygen and nutrition supply to the tissues, causing tissue cell death. The areas of the skin that are especially prone to pressure ulcers are located on the bony areas of the body, such as the back of the head, the upper part of the hip, the lower back, the side of the ankle, and the heel.
Elder abuse lawyer Ben Yeroushalmi is aware that Arvin older adult residents are especially susceptible to pressure ulcers. Due to underlying health conditions (either mental or physical), older adult residents are often bedbound, chair bound, or immobile for extended periods of time. Health conditions that affect blood supply, such as type-2 diabetes, can increase a persons vulnerability to pressure ulcers. Age is also a significant factor—studies show that older people between the ages of 60 and 80 are at high risk of pressure ulcers. Additionally, pressure ulcers commonly develop in older adult patients who have been hospitalized for prolonged periods of time generally for different health issues and elongate the overall time of hospitalization that further damages patients’ quality of life.
The severity of damage of pressure ulcers is categorized into four stages, ranging from grade one—the most superficial kind of ulcer, in which the affected skin area is slightly discolored—to grade four—the most severe kind of ulcer, in which the skin is extremely damaged and the surrounding tissue starts to die.
Studies show that although prevention guidelines exist, skilled nursing facilities in the United States are still struggling with decreasing pressure ulcer rates. Elderly patients in nursing facilities are of particular concern due to their long periods of residency and high risk of having decreased mobility. Studies also indicate that many strategies to prevent pressure ulcers exist. Moreover, quality improvement initiatives in nursing home facilities have also shown to benefit resident health outcomes to some extent. However, achieving successful and continuous implementation of pressure ulcer prevention is still a challenge for nursing homes across the nation, ultimately reducing the chances of nursing homes delivering sustained high-quality preventative care.
Substantial evidence has shown that pressure ulcers in nursing homes are preventable when a variety of sustained care practices are implemented. Nursing staff members, including wound care nurses, registered nurses, and nursing assistants, must be educated and trained in order to fully understand their individual responsibilities of caring for their patients at risk of pressure ulcers. One study found that assigning nursing assistants to see the same residents’ skin conditions on a daily basis was important for allowing them to be the first to detect and report changes in the skin prior to them becoming bigger problems. Research also shows that communication between nursing staff regarding pressure ulcer prevention is a principle factor for successful prevention.
If you or a loved one has suffered from pressure ulcers that developed while living in a long-term care facility, such as a nursing home, please contact the attorney Ben Yeroushalmi today. Mr. Yeroushalmi and his associate attorneys want you to know that your suffering may have been preventable with better quality of care provided by the nursing staff. We are determined to fight vehemently for you until the vindication you deserve is obtained.