Bedsore Development

Avoidable Wounds

Bedsores, also known as decubitus ulcers or pressure sores, are unfortunately a common occurrence at nursing homes. They are also almost entirely preventable.

Bedsores are pressure-induced skin ulcerations. They involve the death of living tissue and often create deep muscular infections. Severe bed sores can penetrate an individual’s internal organs. Bedsore development occurs when an individual’s bony prominences (shoulder blades, heels, elbows, sacrum, hips, etc.) are subjected to prolonged pressure. The pressure generally associated with sitting or lying in one place for too long. The continuous pressure irritates the skin and if the pressure is not removed, a nursing home resident will develop a bed sore.

Bed sores
have four stages:

  1. Stage I bed sores generally
    consists of a small patch of reddened skin about the size of a quarter.
    It is usually not painful but it poses a serious threat. If proper measures
    are not taken the Stage I bed sore can quickly deteriorate.
  2. At Stage II, the small patch
    of skin will grow in size and the wound will begin to develop some depth.
  3. By Stage III, the bed sore
    wound is considerably larger as is the depth. Dead tissue in and around
    the wound begins to become necrotic (or rot).
  4. By Stage IV, the bed sore
    wound has grown and deepen significantly. Necrotic tissue has often
    grown considerably and begins emanating a foul smell. Wounds left to
    deteriorate to a Stage IV are commonly infected. Puss and discharge
    is also often found. The wound’s depth can often reach the individual’s
    bone.

Bed Sore Facts
Most nursing home residents who suffer bed sores are bedridden or have significant
physical limitations and are dependent on care providers to turn or reposition them.

When this does not happen bed sores develop.

There are also a number of other possible contributing factors that may play a part in bed sore development. These include: malnutrition, dehydration, incontinence (the skin’s exposure to wet or soiled diapers), and the individual’s co-morbidities.

An individual who is admitted to a nursing home is required under Federal Law to be assessed for the potential of skin breakdown. If an individual is at high risk, the nursing staff is required to pay particular attention to the issue. The skin will need to be monitored regularly and interventions (turning or repositioning residents; use of cushions or air mattresses) will need to be put in place. If these actions are not taken the nursing staff may very well have been negligent. routinely deals with bed sore cases. If you suspect your loved one may be suffering from a bedsore that could have been prevented, contact our office for a free consultation.

Call 423-968-4969 (TN/VA) or 828-214-3756 (NC) today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights.

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