Bedsores, also called pressure sores, pressure ulcers, or decubitus ulcers, are an injury to the skin and tissue. Bedsores are a serious problem in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and even hospitals, and affect persons that have difficulty moving, like those in wheel chairs, and those who are confined to a bed for long periods.
According to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, there are four stages of pressure ulcers. The stages represent the progression of the wound from initial problems to dangerous condition.
Stage 1: In Stage 1, the skin is not yet broken. Continued pressure or sheer on the skin have caused the skin to be reddened. The skin can be warmer or colder to the touch in comparison to other parts of the body. Please remember that the with a bedsore, most of the damage is occurring underneath the skin. So, just because the skin is not open, or there is a small amount of redness, does not mean that there is nothing wrong. If you see this condition on your loved one, particularly on the most vulnerable parts of the body, like heels, tailbone, sacrum, and buttocks, alert medical staff immediately.
Stage 2: In Stage 2, the skin begins to breakdown. The skin may tear slightly, be worn away, or appear as a crater. Sometimes, there may be drainage from the wound. This discharge is generally pus, blood, or other fluids. Again, the most damage is to the tissue under the wound. The wound will often be very painful. Still, the damage done with a Stage 2 pressure ulcer can be reversed and heal. Treatment for Stage 2 bedsores are primarily to relieve the pressure from the wound through consistent repositioning.
Stage 3: In Stage 3, the wound continues to worsen. The injury is often a deeper crater and appears black. The underlying tissue and muscle underneath have been degraded and destroyed. Fat and yellowish dead tissue may be observed at the base of the wound. At this point, the wound may be painful due to the nerve damage. The risk of infection, particularly blood infections like sepsis, is more likely.
Stage 4: The Stage 4 bedsore is like Stage 3, but the wound is larger and the tissue, muscle, tendons, and skin become irreversibly damaged. The wound appears rotten and the odor is foul. Bone is often exposed. The sufferer is at high risk for sepsis, cellulitis, and other infections. Stage 4 bedsores are maintained through debridement, relieving pressure, topical medications, reduced friction mattresses, and a strict diet and medication regimen.
If your loved developed bed sores at a nursing home or assisted living facility, and you are wondering if you have a claim, then please, feel free to call and speak to one of our experienced Georgia nursing home neglect lawyers today. Our consultations are always free. If you would like to learn more about this topic or watch additional videos please subscribe to our YouTube channel.