Pressure ulcers, also called bedsores or pressure sores, are serious injuries. Caused by reduced blood flow to the skin as a result of constant pressure, bedsores are especially common amongst nursing home patients and others who are immobile.
The severity of pressure sores are described in stages, with stage one being the least severe, and stage four being the most severe.
The Stages of Pressure Ulcers
There are four stages of pressure ulcers. These are:
- Stage one. Stage one pressure ulcers are the least severe, but they can still be very painful. At this stage, the skin is not broken, and only the first layer of dermis is affected. Typically, the skin will appear red, and may have a different texture than surrounding areas.
- Stage two. Stage two is more serious, and at this stage, the skin may begin to blister or crater. During this stage, a wound that looks similar to an abrasion is obvious. At stage two, the damage extends beyond the most superficial layer of skin, and damage may be so severe that it is beyond repair.
- Stage three. At stage three in the process, the pressure ulcer is very serious, and tissue will have died. A crater may form in the skin, which is so deep that fat beneath the dermis is exposed.
- Stage four. At stage four, the wound is incredibly serious, as the injury has progressed to the point that not only is fat exposed, but bone and muscle as well. In addition to damage to the skin, ligaments and tendons are also at risk of harm.
Complications of Bedsores
The Mayo Clinic explains that in addition to the obvious complications of bedsores listed above, including severe pain, other risks include cellulitis (which is an infection of the skin and connective tissues); bone and joint infections; cancer; and sepsis. In some cases, bedsores can precipitate death. Proper wound care practices are vital to reverse the negative health implications of bedsores and prevent further damage.
Liability for Bedsores
As stated above, bedsores are a serious problem amongst nursing home residents, but can affect any patients who are immobile and rely on others for movement. Sadly, bedsores are completely preventable, and often would not occur but for the failure of a nurse or other medical professional to move a patient regularly and provide the level of care that the patient deserves. When a patient suffers from and needs treatment for bedsores as a result of negligence or neglect, the at-fault party (or the hospital or nursing home for which they work) can be held liable for harm.
Our Attorneys Are Here for You
There is no excuse for letting a patient develop a bedsore, especially one that is as serious as a stage three or four bedsore. When neglect or negligence of a healthcare professional leads to harm, you deserve to be compensated for your losses. The experienced medical malpractice and nursing home neglect attorneys at our Georgia personal injury law firm can represent you in your claim, and guide you through the process of proving liability and recovering compensation. Please contact us today for a free consultation.
The foregoing answer is not legal advice and is merely a general overview. You are advised to consult a lawyer to address your specific situation. Feel free to send comments or questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org of Apolinsky & Associates, LLC, or call (404) 377-9191.