Early last week we reported on the disturbing new study that found that back nursing home resident were more likely than their white counterparts to develop bedsores. It is a surprising and upsetting indicator of what residents are more likely to suffer nursing home neglect. Many news outlets have since picked up the story and analyzed the findings.
Third Age News explained how the observations were published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers examined more than 12,000 certified nursing homes. In total an astounding 2.5 million residents were included in the effort-providing a robust sample from which to draw reliable conclusions. Overall, 14.6% of black patients developed the sores, while only 9.6% of their white counterparts did. Both rates showed a decline in the past five years, but African-American residents continued to show higher incident rates. When last studied (in 2003) blacks had similarly high rates of bedsores.
The researchers suggested that the site of the nursing home was likely part of the reason for the disparity. In other words, the nursing homes with higher numbers of black patients were those homes that had the highest bedsore rates overall. Yet, shockingly, even in those facilities, black residents were 25% more likely to develop preventable nursing home bedsores than white residents. In total, the facilities that had the worst pressure sore rates were those with lower staffing levels-often in big cities.
Bed sores (also known as pressure ulcers) develop when someone with limited mobility lies or sits in the same position for too long. In those situations pressure is on the same, vulnerable body parts for too long. That pressure reduces blood supply to the area, killing tissue, and leading to the development of the sore. These sores can increase in severity and spread to affect tendons and joints if not treated. Infection of these sores is possible, leading to even more complications and pain for the victim.
Certain types of nursing home residents are much more vulnerable to bedsores. For example, those in wheelchairs, confined to a bed, in a coma, or in similar straits are more likely to be improperly supervised by care workers. That failure to provide necessary turning and repositioning leads to pressure sore developments. All care workers should be trained in this risk, and so there is no excuse for failing to do what is necessary to prevent the problem.
Our Chicago nursing home neglect lawyers at Levin & Perconti are proud to fight for the rights of residents who have developed bedsores after being neglected. No one who enters one of these facilities should suffer through the pain and medical complications caused by these signs of neglect. If you or someone you know has developed bedsores, please get in touch with an Illinois nursing home attorney today and explain the situation. Our lawyers have worked with hundreds of families whose loved ones developed bed sores which led to a myriad of complications and ultimately death. No facility should get away with that sort of unacceptable negligence. By holding them accountable, loved one can be legally vindicated and changes mandated at facilities to spare other residents from similar suffering.
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