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Nursing Home Bedsores: What are the Causes and Risk Factors?

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Bedsores, also known as pressure sores or decubitus ulcers, are a common problem for people living in nursing homes. These sores develop when there is prolonged pressure on an area of the body, which can cause damage to the skin and underlying tissue. 

Bedsores can be painful, difficult to treat, and can even lead to serious infections. In this article, we will discuss the causes and risk factors of nursing home bedsores.

Causes of Bedsores

The primary cause of bedsores is prolonged pressure on an area of the body. When a person spends a lot of time in one position, such as sitting or lying down, the weight of their body can cause pressure on certain areas. This pressure can restrict blood flow to the area, which can cause tissue damage and, eventually, the development of a bedsore.

Other factors that can contribute to the development of bedsores include friction, shearing, and moisture. Friction occurs when the skin rubs against a surface, such as bedding or clothing. Meanwhile, shearing occurs when the skin moves in one direction while the underlying bone moves in another, which can cause damage to the tissue. Moisture can also contribute to the development of bedsores, as it can soften the skin and make it more susceptible to damage.

Risk Factors of Bedsores

Several risk factors can increase the likelihood of developing bedsores. These risk factors include:

  • Age: Older adults are more likely to develop bedsores, as their skin becomes thinner and less elastic.
  • Immobility: People who are unable to move around on their own are at a higher risk of developing bedsores, as they may spend long periods in one position.
  • Poor Nutrition: A diet lacking essential nutrients can make the skin more susceptible to damage and slow the healing process.
  • Incontinence: People who cannot control their bladder or bowels are at a higher risk of developing bedsores, as the skin can become irritated and damaged from exposure to urine and feces.
  • Chronic Diseases: Conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease can increase the risk of developing bedsores.
  • Neurological Disorders: People with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease or spinal cord injuries may be at a higher risk of developing bedsores, as they may have difficulty moving around on their own.

Can You Sue a Nursing Home for Bedsores?

When a loved one develops bedsores while in a nursing home, it can be a sign of neglect or abuse. To sue a nursing home for bedsores, it must be proven that the nursing home was negligent in their care of the resident. This means that they failed to provide the necessary care and attention to prevent the development of bedsores. 

Negligence can include a failure to reposition the resident regularly, a failure to provide proper skin care, or a failure to use pressure-relieving devices.


Bedsores are a serious health issue that can develop in nursing home residents due to various factors such as immobility, poor nutrition, and neurological disorders. If negligence on the part of the nursing home staff is proven to be the cause of the bedsores, it may be possible to sue the nursing home for damages.

If you or a loved one has suffered from bedsores due to nursing home negligence, it may be time to seek legal assistance from Jehl Law Group. We have the best medical malpractice lawyers that can help you understand your legal options and work to hold the nursing home accountable for their actions. Get in touch with us today to learn how.