What Causes Bed Sores

Bed Sores · Falls · Medication Errors · Wrongful Death

Serving all of New Jersey & Pennsylvania including Philadelphia

Elder Abuse & Nursing Home Neglect


What Causes Bed Sores:

Bed Sores and Unrelieved Pressure

It is important to understand what causes bed sores. When a nursing home resident develops one or more bed sores, concerned family members want to know how it happened. Rarely do they receive the correct information. Bed sores are caused by unrelieved pressure on the body. That is why bed sores are also commonly known in the medical community as pressure sores.

Pressure sore is a term not commonly used by nursing home staff members because it is too revealing. A bed sore develops when a resident is sitting or lying in one position for a prolonged time period and pressure is unrelieved. Nursing homes do not want concerned family members to make the connection between bed sores and pressure. They would rather attribute the bed sore to the resident’s old age and poor health conditions. Although these factors can contribute to the deterioration of bed sores, they do not create them. Only pressure can create a bed sore.


What Causes Bed Sores:

A Nursing Home’s Failure to Relieve Pressure is Neglect

Upon admission to a Philadelphia, PA, or NJ nursing home, all nursing home residents are assessed by the staff to determine if they are at risk of developing bed sores / pressure sores. Most elderly nursing home residents are at risk for developing bed sores.

There are a number of conditions that put residents at risk for developing bed sores including a resident’s age, weight, medical conditions and ability to move in his/her bed (bed mobility) or in a wheelchair. However, it is important for you to understand that none of these risk factors, either alone or together, will develop a bed sore. Every bed sore that develops is the direct result of prolonged exposure to pressure. Relieving pressure is a must for any nursing home resident that is at risk for bed sores. It is the duty of each nursing home to make sure this is done timely and consistently. If it is not done, nursing home neglect has occurred.

Pressure relief is obtained a variety of ways. First and foremost, while in bed or sitting in a wheelchair, a nursing home resident must be turned or repositioned at least every two hours. If this does not happen and a bed sore develops the nursing home has neglected the resident. Philadelphia / PA and NJ nursing homes are also responsible for providing pressure relieving devices such as air mattresses, wheelchair cushions and specialty beds in order to relieve pressure. If these are determined to be necessary and they are not provided, nursing home neglect has occurred.


What Causes Bed Sores:

Bed Sores and Short-Staffed Nursing Homes

Many Philadelphia / Pennsylvania and New Jersey nursing home corporate owners intentionally reduce their nursing home staffing levels to keep costs down and profits up. Although this may be a sensible business practice, when taken to an extreme, it places vulnerable nursing home residents at great risk of nursing home abuse and neglect, including the development and deterioration of bed sores.

Elderly nursing home residents who are in continuous need of assistance are commonly neglected when  a nursing home that is short-staffed.  Nurses and their nurse aides simply do not have sufficient time to provide proper care. As a result, a wide variety of nursing home neglect and abuse occurs. Bed sore development is one of the most common signs of neglect found in short-staffed Philadelphia / PA and NJ nursing home facilities.

You should know that the vast majority of bed sores that develop at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey nursing homes are avoidable if proper care is provided. Stage III bedsores and Stage IV bedsores are recognized by the medical community as “never events” (egregious medical errors that should not happen.) However, because some Philadelphia, PA, and NJ nursing home owners place profitability above the well-being of their residents, nursing staff is not available to provide such basic care as turning and repositioning, cleaning and feeding.


What Causes Bed Sores:

Don’t Believe the Excuses Nursing Homes Provide

Nursing homes never want to take responsibility for the development of a bed sore / pressure sore. When a nursing home resident develops a bed sore the nursing home staff understand that family members will be upset and that their neglect may lead to a nursing home neglect lawsuit. Not surprisingly, the nursing home staff will make every effort to convince concerned and inquisitive family members that the bed sore was the result of factors beyond the control of the nursing home staff.

Philadelphia / PA and NJ nursing home care providers often point to the medical conditions (or co-morbidities) of the nursing home resident as the reason for the bed sore. The nursing home staff will tell family members that their loved one’s health was so poor that the bed sore was inevitable. Nursing home staff members will tell family members that the nursing home residents skin was so thin that a bed sore could not be prevented.  If a loved one passed away with a bed sore the nursing home staff often tells family members the development of the bed sore was just a part of the dying process.


What Causes Bed Sores:

Bed Sores are Inexcusable Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

The vast majority of bed sores that develop on residents in Philadelphia / Pennsylvania and New Jersey nursing homes are entirely avoidable with proper and attentive care. Do not allow nursing home staff to make excuses. Bed sores will not  develop or deteriorate if pressure is properly and continuously relieved regardless of the age or medical condition of a nursing home resident. Only in very limited circumstances can a bed sore be considered “unavoidable.”


You Need a Nursing Home / Bed Sore Attorney

Philadelphia / New Jersey nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer, Brian P. Murphy, is highly trained to focus on all aspects of a bed sore case. With years of experience to his credit, Mr. Murphy, knows precisely what to look for and where to find it to determine if you have a valid bed sore case. Get your questions answered.


Contact Nursing Home Attorney, Brian P. Murphy

Brian P. Murphy is an experienced and well-regarded nursing home abuse attorney who has successfully represented many residents who have been subjected to bed sores.  Mr. Murphy handles cases throughout the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania including Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, and practices law in his own firm in Bucks County, PA. If you have seen bed sores or other signs of nursing home abuse or neglect, take immediate action today. Contact nursing home abuse attorney, Brian P. Murphy for a free consultation.

See what Brian Murphy’s former clients have said.

Legal matters are billed on a contingency fee basis. All Philadelphia / Pennsylvania and New Jersey nursing home abuse cases are personally handled by Brian Murphy.

Nothing on this website is to be construed as attorney advice or otherwise creating an attorney-client relationship.