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Are Bad Outcomes at Skilled Nursing Facilities and Personal Care Homes Preventable?

In many cases, the answer is yes.

For example, pressure ulcers (bed sores) can be prevented with proper care.  Pressure ulcers are a risk of being in one position too long, especially in an elderly, frail person.  Frequent turning and repositioning are essential to preventing pressure ulcers.  However, in many skilled nursing facilities and personal care homes, there is inadequate staffing to frequently re-position the patient, assess the skin condition and provide timely and appropriate treatment if a pressure ulcer develops.

Poor nutrition can also contribute to pressure ulcers, and with some nursing home residents, assistance with eating is necessary.  Again, if there is inadequate staffing, these needs can be unmet, contributing to the risk of skin breakdown, pressure ulcers and serious complications.

Also, a resident of a long-term care facility often must be assisted with toileting, bathing, drinking adequate fluids, taking the correct medications and getting sufficient exercise.  If the management of a facility fails to employ sufficient staff to provide such care for the residents, negative outcomes such as infection, sepsis, malnutrition, dehydration, repeated urinary tract infections, weakness and even death can result.

Neglect and improper staff training can also lead to unnecessary falls.  Doctor’s orders to restrain a person at all times whether in bed or a wheelchair can be ignored by the staff, leading to serious falls.  Lack of supervision of a resident when using bathroom and shower facilities can result in serious and unnecessary injuries.

Too often, corporate profits take priority over sufficient staffing.

If you or someone you know has been injured due to nursing facility neglect, seek legal advice as soon as possible. Contact Rudberg Law Offices in Pittsburgh today.

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