Bedsores, also known as decubitus ulcers or pressure sores, are unfortunately a common occurrence at nursing homes. They are also almost entirely preventable.
Bedsores are pressure-induced skin ulcerations. They involve the death of living tissue and often create deep muscular infections. Severe bedsores can penetrate an individual’s internal organs. Bedsores develop when an individual’s bony prominences (shoulder blades, heels, elbows, sacrum, hips, etc.) are subjected to prolonged pressure. The pressure generally associated with sitting or lying in one place for too long. The continuous pressure irritates the skin and if the pressure is not removed, a nursing home resident will develop a bedsore.
Bedsores have four stages:
- Stage I bedsores generally consists of a small patch of reddened skin about the size of a quarter. It is usually not painful but it poses a serious threat. If proper measures are not taken the Stage I bedsore can quickly deteriorate.
- Stage II bedsores have a small patch of skin that will grow in size and the wound will begin to develop some depth.
- By Stage III, the bedsore wound is considerably larger as is the depth. Dead tissue in and around the wound begins to become necrotic (or rot).
- By Stage IV, the bedsore wound has grown and deepen significantly. Necrotic tissue has often grown considerably and begins emanating a foul smell. Wounds left to deteriorate to a Stage IV are commonly infected. Puss and discharge is also often found. The wound’s depth can often reach the individual’s bone.
- Most nursing home residents are bedridden individuals who are dependent on care providers to turn or reposition them. When this does not happen, bedsores develop.
- Bedsores are more prone to develop on a person's body prominences, such as the shoulder blades, heels, elbows, sacrum, hips, and more.
- Bedsores can result in death.
Turning and repositioning needs to be provided at least every two hours. Often overlooked and undervalued by care providers, individuals who are left for prolonged periods without being turned and repositioned will develop bedsores. There are other risk factors for bedsores such as health conditions, malnourishment, dehydration, and hygiene; however, bedsores, which are also known as pressure ulcers, cannot form without unrelieved pressure. There are also a number of other possible contributing factors that may play a part in bedsore development. These include: malnutrition, dehydration, incontinence (the skin’s exposure to wet or soiled diapers), and the individual’s co-morbidities.
An individual who is admitted to a nursing home is required under Federal as well as state law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey to be assessed for the potential of skin breakdown. If an individual is at high risk, the nursing staff is required to pay particular attention to the issue. The skin will need to be monitored regularly and interventions (turning or repositioning residents; use of cushions or air mattresses) will need to be put in place. If these actions are not taken the nursing staff may very well have been negligent.
An experienced nursing home abuse attorney routinely deals with bedsore cases. If you suspect your loved one may be suffering from a bedsore that could have been prevented, contact nursing home abuse attorney, Brian P. Murphy, and get your questions answered.
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Brian P. Murphy is an experienced and well-regarded nursing home abuse attorney who has successfully represented many elderly residents subjected to nursing home abuse and neglect. Mr. Murphy handles cases throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and practices law at an established law firm in Trenton. If you see signs of nursing home abuse or neglect, take immediate action today. Contact nursing home abuse attorney, Brian P. Murphy for a FREE consultation.
Legal matters are billed on a contingency fee basis. All Pennsylvania and New Jersey nursing home abuse cases are personally handled by Brian Murphy.
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The Nursing Home Attorneys.com is a website owned by Brian P. Murphy, a PA and NJ licensed personal injury attorney who serves Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Bucks County. This nursing home lawyer exclusively handles wrongful death, nursing home abuse, and neglect litigation. Nursing home attorney Brian P. Murphy practices in Pennsylvania, especially the following counties: Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Bucks County. He practices in Bucks County, especially the following areas: Doylestown, New Hope, Newtown, Quakertown, and Langhorne. This nursing home attorney also combats abuse and neglect throughout New Jersey including, but not limited to, Newark, Trenton, Princeton, Camden, Paterson, Bergen County, Essex County, Middlesex County, Mercer County, and Camden County.
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