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Are bed sores preventable?

A previous blog post suggested that bed sores are common in Chicago-area nursing homes, but they are not excusable. If a bed sore leads to a serious condition, like fatal infections, family members have the right to pursue compensation.

Some Illinois residents might wonder if anything can really be done to stop bed sores since they are common conditions. The reality is that bed sores are frequently the result of a nursing home's neglect.

The word "neglect" does not necessarily imply that a nursing home employee hurts the patients with ill-will. Legally, neglect can include just getting too busy to notice a patient, which unfortunately, is a common occurrence in nursing homes.

Just looking at the causes of bed sores, one can see that it takes a bit of care and attention to prevent them. The likely cause of a bed sore is that a person just was not able to move enough to prevent pressure on a certain part of the body. With that pressure comes the possibility of a skin breakdown and, as a result, an open wound that can in turn cause a serious infection. All one needs to do to prevent this is move the patient regularly.

Moreover, other causes of bed sores include malnutrition or having to lie in one's urine or other fluids, both of which are completely unacceptable conditions to have in a nursing facility. Bed sores may be common, and they may be the result of a mistake or an oversight. But, they are preventable, and if a nursing home allows them to develop, families should not hesitate to ask for justice.

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