Nursing Home Neglect and Bedsores (Decubitus Ulcers) November 18, 2019 Ann Jacobs Bedsores are what happen when there is un-relieved pressure on the skin and the skin and underlying tissue begin to break down. They most commonly develop when a person’s bony prominances, usually on the buttock, elbow or heels, are allowed to be in once place without movement or relief. Then the skin opens up and becomes an ulcer. They are extraordinarily hard to treat effectively in the elderly. The key to bedsores is prevention, prevention, prevention. The level of prevention has to meet a level of need, which is the risk of skin breakdown in the patient. You would expect to see an evaluation of their skin upon admission. You would expect to see intervention to prevent the development of bedsores. Air mattresses, a turning schedule, heel protectors, elbow protectors, movement from bed to chair and chair to bed, all those activities should be in place long before there is any skin breakdown. Are bedsores painful? Bedsores are horribly painful in part due to the locations you get them. If a person gets a bedsore on their tail bone, they can’t lie in bed anymore and it’s very hard to sit. It puts the victim in a situation where they basically have to lie on their left or right sides. Then the problem is now you have increased pressure on the left and right sides. Then, if you don’t have adequate intervention to prevent the left and the right from getting bedsores, there can be a situation where you have sores in multiple places and its horrible. The pain can be absolutely devastating, which is why prevention is so important. Are pain and suffering damages increased in cases of bedsores? The pain and suffering damages can be extraordinary in bedsore cases. When victims have wounds that have gone down to the bone, a jury can appreciate how painful that is. An attorney experienced in litigating these cases is key.