Can bedsores lead to death?


Bedsores are injuries to the skin and tissue that arise from excessive pressure to the skin. Bedsores, also called decubitus ulcers or pressure ulcers, routinely occur when nursing home residents are immobile and staff fail to re-position or turn the resident on a regular basis. As they are pressure wounds, they tend to develop on parts of the body that make the most contact with surfaces- the sacral region, ankles, heels, hips, and shoulder blades.

Bed sores progress through stages.

Stage 1: Here, the skin begins to discolor, oftentimes becoming pink or red, and feels warm to the touch.

Stage 2: In this stage, the skin begins to degrade and the wound opens up to expose underlying tissue.

Stage 3: Here, the wound becomes both larger in size and deeper. The tissue continues to die and turn yellow.

Stage 4: In the final stage, tissue loss exposes muscle and bone as the wound area becomes larger and deeper.

Bedsores at stages 3 and 4 may lead to fatal medical conditions. The conditions are mostly the result of various bacterial infections that lead to critical medical problems. These include osteomyelitis, or bone infection, and gangrene, which is tissue loss due to lack of blood flow.

Another fatal complication arising from bed sores is sepsis. Sepsis is caused by bacteria from the bed sore wound travelling through the blood stream and infecting other organs and body parts.  Septic shock, the most severe phase of sepsis, is when the blood pressure drops significantly, causing organ failure and death. Studies show that the mortality rate for septic shock is as high as 50%.

If your loved has passed away at a nursing home or assisted living facility, and you are wondering if it was a result of bed sores, then please, feel free to call and speak to one of our experienced Georgia nursing home neglect lawyers today. Our consultations are always free.