Predicting Pressure Sores Using the Braden Scale

One of the most serious risks of injury, infection, sepsis and possible death is the development of pressure sores for long-term and nursing home residents. Skin abrasions that lead to openings in the skin are the weigh-station for the onset of infection. Pressure sores by definition are skin openings for a person developed by the skin’s pressure to a surface for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, many of the bedsores or pressure sores that develop in nursing homes or long-term care facilities occur to the elderly, the infirm and those suffering from other disabling injuries or illnesses that make movement difficult or impossible. As a result, residents who are stationary for long periods of time are the most susceptible to develop skin openings like pressure sores.

Most nurses, hospitals and nursing home personnel utilize a preferred tool known as the Braden Scale that is used to predict pressure sore risk. The Braden Scale consists of 6 basic categories:

  • Sensory perception
  • Moisture
  • Activity
  • Mobility
  • Nutrition
  • Friction

Each category is scored from 6 to 23. The lower the total score, the higher the risk of a pressure sore. In other words, once the resident is evaluated using the Braden Scale for predicting pressure sores, intervention strategies should be implemented.

For example, if the Braden score is 15 to 18, the interventions by nursing home and long-term care staff should be to move the patient on a regular basis, assist the resident to move as often as is practicable or possible, protect the resident’s heels and low back and use pressure-redistribution surfaces. Because friction can lead to pressure sores, moisturizing the skin of a resident is important to do as well.

The Braden Scale puts a resident at a very high risk when the score is 9 or less. These residents face the highest risk of developing pressure sores. In addition to all of the preventive measures listed above, it is most important that nursing home staff identify a resident who is at high risk for development of pressure sores. Once that has been established, the facility should add a pressure-redistribution surface for patients who have experienced great pain or are immobile.

For nursing home evaluations and placement of a loved one, it is critical to know that the facility takes very seriously the risk of pressure sores for its residents. The Braden Scale is a near perfect model for nursing home professionals to follow in order to reduce or eliminate pressure sore risks for its residents.

The Braden Scale is not full proof however and many experts would point to the fact that even though two patients have the same risk of developing bedsores, the treatment and methods of prevention are often different. That may be because of nutrition, other illnesses such as diabetes, that afflict a patient that weigh in on the likelihood of bedsore development.

If you or a loved one has been suffering or died as a result of pressure sores at a medical facility, contact Kreisman Law Offices.

Robert Kreisman of Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Chicago and Illinois nursing home abuse cases for more than 40 years. Kreisman Law Offices has prevailed in trials and settlements in Chicago, Illinois and surrounding communities and has successfully resolved cases for those injured or abused in nursing homes for these many years.

With our years of experience in trying and settling nursing home abuse cases, Kreisman Law Offices provides the best possible services to our clients and have achieved unsurpassed results. Our service is unmatched. Please call us 24 hours a day at 312.346.0045 or toll free 800.583.8002 for a free and immediate consultation, or complete a contact form online.

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