Pressure Sores and Transfer Boards

Nursing Home residents and hospital patients that are unable to move their own weight in bed require turning and repositioning from nurses at least every two hours.  If the nursing home staff or hospice nurses fail to properly reposition the patient in bed, that patient will develop decubitus ulcers (also known as pressure sores or bed sores).  Often times, these patients will require the use of a transfer board when getting in and out of bed.  To effectively do this, staff placed the patient on the gurney like board and used the transfer board to get the patient out

Transfers a patient from bed to wheelchair

Transfers a patient from bed to wheelchair

of bed and into a wheelchair.  While this kind of transfer can create shearing, which can lead to skin breakdown, this kind of skin tear would be superficial and shallow.

Family members that receive word that their loved one has a deep wound on their sacrum, like a stage three or stage four pressure sore, should be weary of the excuses as to why the wound developed. Specifically, if staff informs the family that this pressure sore came about because of the transfer board, the family should investigate this claim.  A deep tissue wound insult like a stage four pressure ulcer does not typically come about as a result of sheering during a bed to wheelchair transfer. A full thickness skin loss such as a stage four pressure ulcer is a direct result of hours of unrelieved pressure. In other words, a deep wound tissue sore like a stage four decubitus ulcer is a direct result of staff failing to turn and reposition the patient as required by doctor’s orders.

Commonly, when staff neglect an at-risk patient and that patient develops a preventable bed sore, the staff will come up with excuses as to why this bed sore came about.  A common excuse is that this sacral pressure wound was a result of forceful transfers from the bed to the wheelchair using the transfer board.  This is one of many common excuses for the stage four bedsore. In reality, it is a result of nursing home neglect or hospital nurse neglect.  If you or a loved one have developed a deep bedsore on the buttocks area and you are told that it is from transfer shearing from a transfer board, you should obtain the nursing home records and investigate the claim with a qualified nursing home or hospital neglect attorney. You may have a valuable decubitus ulcer lawsuit.

Call (561) 316-7207 for a free case evaluation.

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