Are Bedsores an Indication of Nursing Home Neglect?
Written by Greg on February 17, 2020
Bedsores are also called pressure ulcers or pressure sores, and they affect many people, especially the elderly. Pressure ulcers may seem like minor skin irritations, but they can be dangerous and may even have deadly consequences. A small pressure sore can quickly worsen and deepen, and the skin can open, creating a wound infected. It is best to prevent bedsores and to treat them immediately if they develop.
What are Bedsores?
Bedsores are sores that develop on parts of the body where something rubs or leans on your body. They begin as small, red spots, but they can develop into deep, open wounds if untreated. Pressure ulcers form in areas where the weight of your body presses against another surface. They often form on the heels and elbows, and other places. There are several categories of bedsores based on their severity. They develop in stages, and there are four stages.
- Phase I: The start of a bedsore is a small, red spot, which may be warm to the touch. The area may hurt or itch.
- Stage II: The bedsore is deepening, and the skin is becoming compromised.
- Phase III: Bedsores are more profound and more painful, and the skin breaks. Treatments are becoming more difficult.
- Stage IV: Bedsores reach down to the muscles and bone. Stage IV is the most advanced stage.
What Causes Bedsores
Bedsores occur on the body where the skin is in continual contact with something for some time. The repeated rubbing on the skin creates friction that develops into a sore. Bedsores most often affect patients who are bedridden or unable to move freely on their own. Without moving, the body continues to rub against the sheets or other materials to cause ulcers. Bedsores can and should be prevented.
If bedsore develops, it is much easier to treat at stage I than later stages. Seek medical treatment immediately when you notice bedsore developing. The sooner you treat the sore, the better outcome you can expect.
Nursing Home Neglect
Bedsores are a sign of neglect because they only form when a person is in one position for an extended period. In bedridden or immobile patients, caregivers must reposition the person every several hours to prevent problems. Bedsore may form on places of the body when regular repositioning does not happen.
Besides, bedsores can be more easily treated during stage I. Unfortunately; often, care providers do not notice bedsores until they are in the later stages. Caregivers should know how to prevent bedsores and should examine patients daily to locate any potential bedsores if they begin.
Early treatment is essential in caring for pressure ulcers. When a pressure ulcer gets past stages I or II, it is much more challenging to treat. Once the ulcer breaks the skin and deepens, there is an increased risk of infection. Infections are dangerous, and they can lead to sepsis.
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition, particularly for anyone who is in a weakened medical condition already.
If your loved one developed a bedsore in a nursing home or assisted care facility, treatment is essential. The facility may be negligent by allowing bedsores to occur and for failing to treat them promptly.
Contact our experienced legal team at Baumgartner Law Firm to discuss the injury with a free case consultation.