In managed care facilities, proper wound care plays an important role in preventing infection and more serious conditions like sepsis. Nursing home residents may struggle with compromised immune systems and require extra treatment for cuts, scrapes, warts, bed sores, and other ulcers. IV sites and healing surgical incisions are also wounds and can become infected if they are not monitored.
Neglected wounds can lead to serious health problems including skin and blood infections. Inattention to wound care may constitute neglect in a managed care facility and may be unlawful. Proper wound care is a preventive measure that can help stop many advanced infections and tissue problems.
Caring for Wounds and Preventing Abuse
Minor wounds may go undetected due to under-staffing or due to the attitudes of older generations who “don’t want to be a bother.” Even small, untended wounds can progress to serious infections. Based on the stage and type of wound, proper medical attention might incorporate dressings, antibiotic cream or pills, skin grafts, or compression therapy.
Family and friends of a nursing home or rehabilitation facility resident should visit as much as possible. Watch out for any cuts, lesions or sores that are obviously undressed or untreated. Pain and inflammation at the wound site can be an early sign of infection. Even if wounds are treated, a sudden increase in cuts, scrapes, or bruises may be a warning sign of physical abuse.
Friends and family members should inquire about first aid and wound care policies at the nursing home or rehabilitation fcaility. Bring unaddressed wound issues to management’s attention and voice any questions or concerns over physical abuse or neglect. If questions or concerns still remain, contact the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and consider speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney.