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Nursing Home Abuse and the Health Risks of Bed Sores

Bed sores—which are also known as decubitus ulcers or pressure sores—are one of the most common signs of nursing home abuse, and they also pose a severe health risk when not treated promptly.

The attorneys at Cullan & Cullan are experienced advocates for nursing home abuse victims, and many of our lawyers are also medical doctors with detailed knowledge of the health hazards faced by nursing home residents who suffer from neglect or abuse. If you believe a loved one may be a victim of nursing home abuse, please call us at for your free consultation; we welcome clients from the greater Phoenix, Scottsdale and Mesa areas, and throughout Arizona.

How Bed Sores Develop

Bed sores are caused by prolonged or repeated pressure to the skin that prevents sufficient blood flow to a specific area of tissue. Pressure sores typically develop over bony parts of the body such as the hips, tailbone, buttocks, elbows, shoulders, heels, and the back and sides of the head. Nursing home residents who are confined to beds or wheelchairs are particularly susceptible to bed sores.

With proper care, bed sores are preventable. Nursing home residents who are immobile or have limited mobility should be repositioned and examined regularly; they should also be provided with special pillows, pads and other appropriate products designed to protect against pressure sores.

If not treated in a timely manner, bed sores can lead to worsening skin conditions, including life-threatening infections.

Complications from Bed Sores

Bed sores often initially appear as red, patchy skin that can quickly progress to blister-like open wounds. As the ulcers deepen, they can cause acute skin infections and allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream.

This bacteria may then spread throughout the body, leading to the potentially fatal condition known as sepsis. Sepsis can result in widespread organ failure.

Infections stemming from bed sores can also contribute to abscesses or penetrate through the skin tissue and into the joints and bones. For information on how to respond to bed sores or other signs of nursing home abuse and protect your loved one, please see our What to do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse page.

If you have reason to believe a family member is suffering from neglect or abuse in a nursing home, please contact Cullan & Cullan, today for your personal consultation. Our attorneys are dedicated to helping nursing home abuse victims from Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa and all across Arizona.


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