It is important to note that bed sores do not always result from being in bed as the name would imply. Some of the most severe bed sores can also result from sitting for a prolonged period of time says California Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney Steven C. Peck.
Thus, the location of the bed sores can depend upon the position of the patient. For individuals who are bed-bound, the sores are most likely to form on or around the heels, the hip-bone, and the lower back or tailbone. Pressure ulcers may also develop in a variety of other areas, including the spine, ankles, knees shoulders, and head, depending upon the position of the patient.
Bed Sore Risk Factors:
Pressure sores are more likely to develop persons who are at higher risk due to one or more risk factors. A number of risk factors have been identified which put individuals at higher risk. Once a person is identified as being at increased risk for pressure sores, measures should be undertaken to reduce or eliminate those risks.
Thus, healthcare providers must be aware of these risk factors when caring for patients in order to prevent the unnecessary development of pressure sores.
While risk factors may vary depending upon the particular circumstances, the following represents a list of the most common:
- Confinement to bed, chair, or wheelchair. Persons confined to beds, chairs, or wheelchairs who are unable to move themselves, can develop pressure-induced injuries in as little as 1-2 hours if the pressure is not relieved;
- Inability to change positions without help. (Eg., an individual in a coma, who is paralyzed, or recovering from a hip fracture or other mobility limitation.)
- Loss of bowel or bladder control. Sources of moisture on the skin from urine, stool, or perspiration can irritate the skin.
- Poor nutrition and/or dehydration. Bed sores are more likely to form when the skin is not properly nourished.
- Decreased mental awareness. An individual with decreased mental awareness may not have the level of sensory perception or ability to act to prevent the development of pressure-induced injury. The lack of mental awareness may arise from medications.
About the Author
Attorney Steven Peck has been practicing law since 1981. A former successful business owner, Mr. Peck initially focused his legal career on business law. Within the first three years, after some colleagues and friend’s parents endured nursing home neglect and elder abuse, he continued his education to begin practicing elder law and nursing home abuse law.