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African Americans at greater risk for bedsores in nursing homes
by Staff Minority Nurse Writer
A study done by the University of Iowa reports elderly African Americans living in nursing homes are more likely to suffer from bedsores. Bedsores usually develop if there is a lack of blood flow to an area of bones covered by a thin layer of skin, commonly found in the heels, elbows, and tailbone.
The study also showed nursing homes with predominately black residents lacked the resources needed for proper care, when compared to facilities with mostly white residents. The observational study was conducted with 2.1 million white nursing home residents and 346,808 black residents from 12,500 nursing facilities. From these residents, researchers found that 15% of black residents developed bedsores, while only 10% of white residents were affected.
Even though black residents seem to be more at risk, the study has determined that it is not necessarily caused by black residents receiving inferior-quality care, but a lack of staff resources to give the proper amount of care to their residents. Researchers discovered that even white residents placed in homes with mostly black residents were at a higher risk for bedsores.
If bedsores are not treated right away, they can become more serious and even life threatening. It is important that nursing home staff takes the proper steps in treating bedsores, or they can develop into sepsis. Failure to catch bedsores in their early stages has even found nursing home staff in negligence lawsuits.