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Bedsores in Rehabilitation Centers a Possible Sign of Negligence

 Posted on March 03, 2022 in Personal Injury

Kent County Bed Sore Injury LawyerBedsores are often associated with very elderly and very ill bedbound patients in nursing homes. However, even younger and healthier people can suffer from these painful sores, also called “pressure ulcers” while recovering from a serious injury in an inpatient rehabilitation center. People often enter these facilities in a vulnerable state, not expecting to suffer further injury due to neglect. Unfortunately, some of these facilities are less careful than they need to be with their patients. If you or your loved one suffered bedsores while in a rehab center, you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation.

What Are Rehabilitation Centers Used For?

These facilities are often used as a sort of “middle ground” between being in the hospital and being at home. Unlike nursing homes, these facilities are generally for short-term stays. People of all ages may stay in these centers while recovering from long-term major injuries. Rehab patients are typically too sick or injured to return home yet and are in need of around-the-clock care. Many of them are transported directly from the hospital to rehab centers. Injuries and conditions that may be treated in rehab centers include: 

  • Traumatic brain injury

  • Spinal fractures

  • Injury causing paralysis

  • Hip, pelvis, and leg fractures, particularly in the elderly

  • Post-stroke recovery

What Causes Bedsores in Rehab Centers?

Many patients in rehab facilities are largely bedbound or immobile, at least outside of the limited physical therapy sessions some patients receive. When people lie or sit in the same position for a prolonged period of time, pressure ulcers may develop. Ways negligent rehab facilities can cause bedsores include: 

  • Not turning - Bedbound patients should be turned (have their position in bed adjusted) by staff frequently. This relieves pressure on the back, hips, and buttocks where ulcers may develop.

  • Dehydration and malnutrition - Most patients lose some weight after a catastrophic injury. When patients are not able to eat enough nutritious food or drink enough water to stay hydrated and well-nourished, they should be provided some form of supplemental nutrition and hydration. Unfortunately, staff does not always notice these problems, which increase the risk of bedsores. 

  • Hygiene - Most patients in rehab centers are not physically able to maintain their own personal hygiene. Quite a few require diapering while they are bedbound or wheelchair-bound. When staff fails to appropriately bathe or change patients who cannot do so alone, bedsores are much more likely to develop. For diapered patients, these sores are significantly likely to become infected. 

  • Improper wheelchair use - Some rehab patients are adapting to using a wheelchair. Correct posture and positioning are important to prevent bedsores. Physical therapy staff may fail to appropriately instruct new wheelchair users. 

In most cases, pressure ulcers are preventable during short-term care. 

Call a Michigan Personal Injury Attorney

If you or your loved one has developed bedsores while staying in a rehabilitation facility, John D. Tallman, PLC, Attorney at Law may be able to help you recover compensation. Our Grand Rapids personal injury lawyers can help investigate to show that the rehab center was negligent in causing these painful injuries. Call 616-361-8850 for a free consultation. 




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