What do I do if my resident has a bedsore?
If you are notified that your loved one is suffering from any kind of bedsore, ask what stage the wound is and ask the staff if you can see the wound, as a nursing home lawyer Trenton, NJ may recommend. Many times nursing staff will tell families that their loved one has a bedsore and tell them that it’s healing and should be gone in a few days. Many times, in our experience, this is not the case. Nursing facilities do not like to tell the families how serious the wounds are because the staff know that wounds are formed from neglect.
Having a full understanding of your residents condition, both the stage of the wound and seeing the wound with your own eyes, will be very important. The family can ask for a care conference. This is a meeting with the nursing staff, social worker, the Director of Nursing and the family. In that meeting a family can convey concerns about the bedsore and asked that facility what specifically they are doing to heal this wound.
It is also important to notify a resident’s primary care physician of the stage and severity of the bedsore. A family can also ask the doctor what they intend to do to prevent this wound from getting any worse than it already is.
When visiting the resident, it is very important to be sure that the staff or turning and repositioning the resident and at a minimum every 2 hours in bed, and if the resident is in a wheelchair at least once an hour. If the resident is in incontinent or using a diaper, make sure that the staff are very quickly made aware if the resident soils himself. In this way they can be an excellent advocate for their loved one.
What is a debridement?
A debridement is the process where dead tissue is removed from a bedsore. Dead tissue is a serious problem in wounds because it encourages infection. When one has dead tissue in the wound the body is both fighting infection and trying to heal the wounds at the same time. The idea of debridement is that if the wound is clean the body can focus its resources simply on healing the wound
There are different types of debridement depending on how serious the injury is. For example, one form of debridement is chemical debridement. This is a process where certain chemicals are used in the wound to wash out the dead tissue.
Another type of debridement is sharp debridement. This is a debridement typically done at the bedside. It involves removing the dead tissue from a wound with scissors and tweezers.
A much more serious type of debridement as a surgical debridement. This is typically only done when a wound is already infected and is a stage IV. It is done at the hospital by a wound doctor or plastic surgeon. With a surgical debridement a person receives general anesthesia. With a surgical debridement the doctor is going to cut into the living tissue surrounding the wound to be certain that all the dead tissue is out.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Davis & Brusca, LLC for their insight into bedsores and nursing home cases.