Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, are a common problem in nursing homes. They are caused by prolonged pressure on the skin and underlying tissues, which can lead to tissue damage and eventually, an open sore. Bedsores are a sign of neglect and can result in serious health complications, including infections and even death. In this article, we will discuss the causes of bedsores, the four stages of bedsores, how to prevent bedsores, and the warning signs of bedsores.
Causes of Bedsores
Bedsores are caused by pressure on the skin and underlying tissues, which can occur when a person remains in one position for too long. Other contributing factors include friction or shear forces, moisture, poor nutrition and hydration, incontinence, and limited mobility or immobility.
The Four Stages of Bedsores
Bedsores progress in stages, from mild skin irritation to deep tissue damage. The four stages of bedsores are:
- Stage 1: Non-blanchable erythema – The skin is red and irritated but does not blanch (turn white) when pressed.
- Stage 2: Partial thickness skin loss – The skin is broken, and there may be a shallow open sore or blister.
- Stage 3: Full thickness skin loss – The skin is broken down to the underlying tissue, and there is a deep, open wound.
- Stage 4: Full thickness tissue loss with exposed bone, tendon, or muscle – The wound is deep and may involve muscle or bone.
Prevention of Bedsores
Bedsores are preventable with proper care and attention. Nursing home staff should regularly reposition residents, ensure proper skin care including cleaning and moisturizing, use pressure-relieving devices such as special mattresses or cushions, ensure good nutrition and hydration, treat incontinence, and regularly assess and monitor residents for signs of bedsores.
Warning Signs of Bedsores
Family members should be aware of the warning signs of bedsores, which include red, pink, or purple discoloration of the skin, changes in skin texture or temperature, swelling or hardness of the skin, pus or drainage from the sore, unusual odor, and signs of pain or discomfort.
Get Help Right Away
If you or a loved one has suffered from bedsores due to nursing home neglect or abuse, it is important to speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer. A lawyer can help you understand your legal options and pursue compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages. Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation.
In conclusion, bedsores are a serious and preventable injury in nursing homes. Family members should be aware of the causes, stages, and warning signs of bedsores, and work with nursing home staff to prevent them. If bedsores do occur, it may be a sign of neglect or abuse, and legal action may be necessary to hold the nursing home accountable.