Bedsores (also known as pressure sores) are a serious problem in nursing homes. If nursing home staff neglect to properly care for their patients, our most vulnerable loved ones can suffer from these painful irritations. Bedsores can turn into serious, even deadly wounds. The lead Philadelphia bedsore lawyer at Lowenthal & Abrams, Injury Attorneys is Anita Pitock. As both a nurse and an attorney, Ms. Pitock knows how to read medical records, challenge negligent nursing homes and fight for these most vulnerable of victims.
The Four Stages of Bedsores
Bed sores form in four stages. They begin when a person is left to lay too long in the same position and pressure develops on an area of the body. This leads to a wound called a bedsore or pressure ulcer.
- Stage one – there is redness on the skin. This is a minor abrasion. Individuals who are of darker skin color may not have any change in skin color. The impacted area can be painful and feel differently from surrounding skin.
- Stage two – the sore becomes an ulcer or an open wound. The skin has become damaged or lost. The wound may also appear as a blister.
- Stage three – the ulcer has turned into a deep wound. Dead tissue may be apparent and there is a substantial loss of skin in the area.
- Stage four – there is a substantial loss of tissue with a lot of dead tissue underlying the skin.
Common Locations For Bed Sores
Bedsores are common in a number of locations that tend to have pressure on them when a patient is confined to a bed or wheelchair:
- Arms and legs where they rest against the wheelchair
- Head where it presses against the bed
- Ears where they press against the bed
Preventing Bed Sores
Bedsores can be prevented by simple observance and action on the part of nursing home staff. All new patients and residents should be assessed for risk of pressure sores, and a plan to prevent sores should be developed and followed. It is crucial that anyone confined to a wheelchair or a bed be frequently inspected for bed sores. In addition, someone who is confined must be moved to prevent pressure ulcers from forming in the first place. It is the job of nursing home staff to properly move patients who are unable to do so and to be on the alert for bed sores and respond if they see signs of a sore forming. Our Philadelphia pressure sore lawyers know what nursing homes are supposed to do to protect their residents from getting these terrible injuries. And they know when long-term care facilities are being negligent and failing to follow the standards for bedsore prevention.
Proper Nutrition, Hydration and Hygiene Are Important
Pressure ulcers are more likely to develop when a resident or patient in a nursing home is suffering from nutrition or hydration issues. Further, hygiene problems, where the skin becomes moist and is left that way creates an increased risk for pressure sores. Proper nutrition, hydration and hygiene must be followed in nursing homes.
Seeking Legal Help for Pressure Ulcers in Philadelphia Nursing Homes
If you notice a bedsore on your loved one in a Philadelphia nursing home, you should immediately contact a doctor. A bedsore that shows signs of infection must be treated quickly to prevent serious damage. If a bedsore is allowed to become a deep wound, it can lead to infection, severe tissue damage, and even death.