Gordon/ Weinberg Bill Fights Bed Sores In Nursing Homes

Senator Bob Gordon, D-Bergen, a sponsor of legislation which would impose a moratorium on the taking of horseshoe crabs to protect the food supply for the endangered red knot shorebird, speaks at a ceremonial bill signing of the legislation in the Governor

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senators Bob Gordon and Loretta Weinberg, to require that nursing homes convert their beds to pressure redistribution mattresses that help prevent bed sores, was approved by the Senate Health Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee today.

“Bed sores can create lasting medical problems for nursing home residents,” said Senator Gordon, D-Bergen. “The use of pressure redistribution mattresses is widely recognized as one of the more effective ways to prevent and treat bed sores. These special mattresses cost $100 to $200 more than the price of an ordinary mattress and although the price is higher the hope is that the added expense would be offset by the reduced costs of treatment.”

The bill, S-1517, would require that when a nursing home gets a new mattress, they must replace the existing one with a pressure redistribution mattress that is designed to address the problem of pressure ulcers, commonly called bed sores.

“Pressure ulcers are very painful and are preventable with proper care and a better mattress that is designed for people who are usually bed ridden,” Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen. “A pressure ulcer starts as reddened skin but gets progressively worse, forming a blister, then an open sore, and finally a crater. The bill would require nursing homes to complete the replacement of all mattresses within three years.”

Senator Weinberg stated that, “In 2007 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported that nursing home residents in New Jersey had pressure ulcer rates that were higher than the national overall average.”

The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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