If you’ve noticed that a loved one in a hospital or nursing home has developed bedsores, it’s important to report them. This is because bed sores can be a sign of negligence on the part of a health care provider.
Bedsores, also known as pressure sores or decubitus ulcers, are a type of medical wound that develops in the dead skin of someone who is immobile for long periods. They can be fatal.
Reporting a Bedsore
Bedsores are a common complication of nursing home care that can be extremely painful. Patients in these facilities should be checked for bedsores regularly.
They should also be given baths and dried off to decrease the chances of bedsores. However, many people develop them when they are not moved frequently enough or if their caregivers do not pay attention to detail.
In these cases, the medical staff and nursing home may be liable for the injuries they caused.
Under-staffing, lack of communication and a failure on the part of the facility administration to correct these problems are all forms of medical negligence that can result in bedsores and other serious conditions.
If you or a loved one have developed a bedsore in a hospital, Washington DC nursing home or other care facility, it is important to speak with an experienced medical neglect lawyer as soon as possible. They will help you determine whether or not the facility is liable for the injury and how to proceed with a lawsuit against the negligent parties.
Stages of Bedsores
Bedsores are classified in four stages based on their depth, severity and other characteristics. The stages range from minor changes in skin color to a deep injury involving muscles and bone.
Stage 1: In this stage, pressure sores affect the uppermost layer of skin. They may appear red or discolored and feel different from the rest of the skin.
At this stage, bedsores are still easily treatable and can heal within two to three days.
In stage 2, the bedsores start to break open and form a hole in the skin or look like pus-filled blisters. This stage takes a little longer to heal and can be painful.
A stage 3 wound has a crater-like appearance and gives off an unpleasant odor. It shows signs of infection, such as fever, pus, and red edges.
Depending on the severity of the bedsore, there are many treatment options available. For example, proper nutrition and hydration can speed up the healing process, reduce pain, and protect the patient from infections.
Changing the position of your loved one’s skin at least every 2 hours is also important. This helps avoid shearing of the skin against the bed and will reduce the chances of a bedsore developing.
When a bed sore or pressure injury is caught and treated at the earliest stage, it should not take more than a few days to heal completely. However, if it is not treated properly or if the sore deteriorates or gets infected, it may take longer than this to recover fully.
Some people with fragile skin, diseases that decrease blood flow to the skin, and conditions that cause friction of the skin are at higher risk for getting bedsores. Additionally, anyone who has a history of malnutrition or dehydration is more likely to develop a bedsore.
When bedsores occur, they should be treated immediately to prevent them from getting worse. This includes ensuring that the wound is properly cleaned, covered and treated regularly to avoid infection.
The most important part of preventing bedsores is repositioning the patient to minimize pressure on the most susceptible parts of their body, such as their heels, ankles, hips and tailbone. If the patient cannot do this on their own, caregivers should do it for them as often as possible.
The prevention of bedsores also entails performing skin assessments to check for areas that may be at risk, keeping the skin clean and dry, and reducing friction. This should happen as often as every one to two hours.