Do you have a loved one who is in a nursing home and you’ve recently
noticed that he or she has developed worrisome bedsores, otherwise known
as pressure sores? If the facility is acting like the bedsores are “no
big deal,” please know that they are not being honest with you.
Left unchecked, bedsores can be very serious.
A bedsore or pressure sore refers to a wound that is caused by too much
pressure on the skin. While bedsores vary in severity, they’re usually
characterized by a red color and a puss that is oozing from the wound.
In serious cases, the sore can penetrate all the way down to the muscle and bone.
Typically, bedsores develop in areas of the skin that are not padded by
fat and muscle; for example, along the tailbone, the elbows, knees, back
of the head, hips, heels, and ankles. While bedsores are caused by prolonged
pressure, they can also be caused by friction or
shear, which is where the skin and another surface move in the opposite direction.
This often occurs when a patient is moved up or down a bed.
Who is at Risk of Developing Bedsores?
Bedsores don’t normally develop in healthy, ambulant people. Instead,
they typically develop in people who are confined to a wheelchair or a
bed, many of whom are in the care of nursing home staff. Other risk factors,
include dehydration and malnutrition because both situations compromise
the integrity of a patient’s skin, making it more susceptible to bedsores.
Complications of bedsores:
- Cellulitis (skin infection),
- Bone infections,
- Joint infections,
- Squamous cell carcinoma (a type of Cancer), and
- Sepsis (harmful bacteria and toxins in tissue, caused by an infected wound),
which can be life-threatening.
If your loved one is suffering from bedsores, please understand that if
left unchecked, they can be serious and life-threatening. Not only are
bedsores dangerous in patients of all ages, they can be especially dangerous
for people who are elderly and have weakened immune systems.
If you suspect
nursing home negligence, please contact our firm to speak with a Columbia, SC
personal injury attorney.
Call now for a free consultation!