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Bedsores are a particular threat to residents with diabetes

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2024 | Long-term Care Facility Neglect |

If your family has a loved one in a care facility, helping to ensure their well-being is probably a constant concern. This concern can be particularly pressing your loved one has pre-existing conditions like diabetes and some new symptom or issue has arisen.

People with diabetes are particularly susceptible to a complication known as bedsores, which can significantly worsen their overall health. By understanding how bedsores develop, you can understand what can increase risk for your loved one and the steps you can take to advocate for their well-being.

What are bedsores (pressure ulcers)?

Bedsores, also called pressure ulcers, are localized areas of tissue damage caused by prolonged pressure on the skin. This pressure restricts blood flow, depriving the skin and underlying tissues of vital oxygen and nutrients. Without proper circulation, the tissue deteriorates, leading to open wounds. Common areas for bedsores include the heels, buttocks, tailbone and shoulder blades.

Why are people with diabetes more at risk?

Several factors contribute to the heightened risk of bedsores in diabetic patients. For starters, diabetes often damages nerves, particularly in the extremities. This can numb the skin, making it difficult to feel pressure or developing sores.

What’s more, diabetes can impair blood flow throughout the body, hindering the delivery of oxygen and nutrients needed for healing. Furthermore, diabetes disrupts the body’s natural healing processes, making it harder for bedsores to close.

The downward spiral: How bedsores worsen a diabetes condition

Bedsores pose a serious threat to a diabetic’s health in several ways. For starters, open wounds are vulnerable entry points for bacteria, leading to potentially life-threatening infections. Moreover, bedsores can be incredibly painful. The pain can cause significant distress and impact sleep and mobility. Not to mention that severe or infected bedsores often require hospitalization for intensive treatment. This can add stress and financial strain to your family.

Protecting your loved one

As someone who has a loved one with diabetes in a care facility, you should know that bedsores are largely preventable. The caregivers in the facility should turn and reposition residents frequently to alleviate pressure points. They should also conduct regular skin checks and proper skin hygiene to identify early signs of pressure damage.

By working collaboratively with the care facility, you can advocate for your diabetic loved one to reduce their risk of them developing bedsores. Should you find out that your loved one sustained bed sores due to the care facility’s negligence, you can work with a reliable legal team to hold the institution accountable.

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