Many elderly and disabled people in Ohio develop pressure ulcers, or bedsores, when their skin breaks down from excessive pressure. Pressure ulcers often affect people who require wheelchairs or are unable to move parts of their body due to injuries or diseases. People suffering from malnourishment, fragile skin or a condition that affects blood flow can also develop pressure ulcers.
A pressure ulcer can develop on various parts of the body such as the buttocks, hips, shoulders, back or back of the head. At first, the pressure ulcer will cause skin to look red. If left untreated, it will form a blister and then turn into an open sore that can eventually cause damage to muscle and bone.
A person who is on bed rest or is unable to move around for another reason should be checked for pressure ulcers by their caregiver every day. Caregivers can help their patients to avoid pressure ulcers by making sure that they change position every two hours, drink enough water and maintain a healthy diet. If a pressure ulcer is swollen and warm or has a foul odor, these symptoms could be signs of an infection, and a doctor should be alerted immediately.
Patients who develop pressure ulcers while staying in a hospital or live-in care facility may be victims of medical negligence. A family that has noticed pressure ulcers on their elderly or disabled loved one's body may want to speak to a lawyer about conducting an investigation. If a patient's pressure ulcers were a result of neglect or malnutrition, there may be cause to file a medical malpractice lawsuit seeking damages from the responsible party.