Pressure Ulcer Neglect

Health care facilities have a legal and ethical obligation to provide each resident with the care necessary for the resident to maintain their highest level of physical and mental well-being. Pressure ulcer neglect refers to the failure to prevent, diagnose, treat, or care for a resident that typically results in the development of a pressure ulcer.

The law requires that health care facilities ensure that a resident does not develop pressure ulcers. Pressure ulcers are avoidable, and the reason for pressure ulcer development is evidence of some form of neglect. Development of pressure ulcers may be an indication of potential problems in the care being delivered to the individual. Even in good health care facilities, small wounds can develop, but with quick attention, they will heal. However, there is no medically valid reason for pressure ulcers to progress to a Stage 3 or Stage 4 situation where there exists a massive deep open wound but for neglectful care.