I was meeting with a family this week and they mentioned home health had been giving their loved one care for months when he developed two heel ulcers. They went on to explain that home health never mentioned the ulcers, told the doctors about the ulcers, or explained what had happened to the patient.
I sadly wasn’t surprised.
We hear the same stories from nursing home patients and their families. We even hear cases where the patient’s family discovers the ulcers, only to find out the facility staff had been ordered to do daily skin checks and had failed to do so for many days.
You don’t have to be a doctor to understand that patients who cannot walk and spend most of their time in a chair or bed, are at risk for developing what we often refer to as bed sore, or pressure ulcer. And patients with diabetes or with neuropathy (like MS patients) may not be able to feel when an ulcer develops so some patients are even surprised about the development of a wound.
So, if your loved one is at risk for ulcer development because they cannot walk, the following care should be provided by a nursing home staff:
- Daily skin checks
- Weight and nutrition monitoring
- Fluid and hydration program where they are given enough liquids to sustain normal body function
- Turning and or specialty mattresses / pads to relieve pressure
- Other pressure relieving devices, boots, etc.
If your loved one developed a significant wound at a Virginia nursing home and you would like to know if the wound was preventable, please do not hesitate to call our office today.