Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, refer to the area of the body that suffers skin damage due to staying in the same position for too long. Typically, people in nursing homes who require extensive care, such as needing help to move or change positions, are likely to succumb to such sores if they are not receiving adequate attention from the nursing home staff. Nursing home abuse is sadly common, and bedsores are a symptom of abuse.
If you feel that negligence or inadequate care caused your loved one to suffer from an acute case of bedsores, reach out for help from a nursing home abuse lawyer. You may be eligible to receive compensation for the neglect you or your loved one endured. We can begin assisting you with your case today at (800) 201-3999.
Overview of Bedsores
Healthline defines a bedsore, or a decubitus ulcer as it is known in medical circles, as an injury to the skin and sometimes underlying tissues caused by continued pressure on the skin. They form in areas where a bone sits near the body, such as the base of the spine, ankles, elbows, heels, hips, and buttocks, and thus can apply pressure to the surrounding flesh. It is important to note that although bedsores are treatable, they can lead to serious infections – some of which may be life-threatening – when certain factors come into play. Generally, this condition is prevalent among people who:
- Are older.
- Are confined to a wheelchair.
- Are unable to change positions by themselves.
- Have fragile skin.
- Have decreased mobility.
Furthermore, it may be caused by factors that include:
- Prolonged pressure on the skin.
- Poor circulation.
- Shearing and friction.
- Excessive moisture from urine and feces.
Symptoms of Bedsores
Typically, bedsores develop gradually but can form in a matter of hours. The symptomsmay depend on a few factors such as an underlying medical condition or the stage of the ulcer. The following are a few warning signs:
- Discoloration. Fair-skinned people get red patches and dark-skinned people get purple or blue patches in the affected area.
- The affected area feels warm, hard, or spongy when pressed.
- Chronic itchiness or pain in the affected area.
- Gradually, the discoloration begins to spread.
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Stages of Bedsores and Diagnosis
Doctors diagnose bedsores by inspecting and identifying the stage of its appearance. Since it is a form of ulcer, the stages of bedsores are as follows:
- Stage one. Here, the skin is not broken. Depending on your complexion, you may notice red, blue, or purple patches. Additionally, the discoloration may be swollen or warm.
- Stage two. The skin breaks, revealing a skin-deep ulcer. In this stage, you may notice pockets of blisters filled with fluids.
- Stage three. The ulcer burrows deeper into the skin, reaching the fat layer and affecting it. Here, it bears similarities to a crater.
- Stage four. The infection reaches the bone, muscle, and other layers of the skin.
- Unstageable. The patient may need further imaging or surgical evaluation to remove a dark, hard plaque known as eschar, which may be inside the sore.
Treatment for Bedsores
The treatment process may be prolonged or become difficult once the skin breaks. But generally, the treatment options may depend on the severity of the ulcer and any underlying medical condition. Your healthcare provider may:
- Perform debridement surgery.
- Perform skin graft surgery.
- Remove pressure on the affected area.
- Protect the wound with medicated gauze and other dressings.
- Prescribe antibiotics to treat the wound.
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Today
When you engage the services of a nursing home lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, you will have access to the personal and legal support needed to make it through this difficult time. We fight for justice and compensation for our clients, particularly those suffering from bedsores resulting from nursing home abuse.
We understand that financial constraints can influence your desire to seek justice. As such, we work on a contingency basis and ensure that you do not pay us until we have won your case for you. Call us right now at (800) 201-3999 to discuss your case for free with a member of our team.