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Bed Sores in a Nursing Home

Bed sores can be classified into four distinct stages, with Stage 1 being the least severe and Stage 4 the most powerful. Bed sores occur when a person does not change their position for an extended time, such as bed bound or paralyzed. Bed sores in a nursing home are indicators of the care quality your loved one receives in a nursing home, so familiarity with their progression is crucial.

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Bed Sores in a Nursing Home

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Bed sores in a Nursing Home: Stage 1

The earliest stage of a bed sore is called stage 1. It can appear as a red mark on the skin and may take as little as a few hours to develop.

Bed sores of this sort do not penetrate more profoundly than the epidermis. Initial symptoms of stage one pressure sores, such as redness or discoloration, may not seem severe. It's possible that pressing on the affected area will cause the skin to feel warmer than usual. And depending on the rest of your skin, it could feel either hard or soft.

While those with lighter skin tones typically show signs of redness and discoloration from pressure wounds, those with darker skin tones don't. A review of the Current Management of bed sores suggests that bed sores may appear as dark spots or purple tones. Bed sores can also start as a restraints injury, and grow into bed sores.

Tissue swelling and indurations (the hardening of tissues) are typical during stage one. Removal of pressure from the area where these signs are present is essential. Bed sores in a nursing home can become more challenging-to-treat stage two ulcers if delayed pressure relief.

Healthcare providers must be vigilant in looking for pressure sore symptoms to prevent further injury. A stage one ulcer may close in three to four days when detected and treated promptly.

What Should Happen if Diagnosed with a Stage 1 Bed Sore?

There are a few ways to treat and heal bed sores, so let’s go over those.

Relieve Pressure

Relieving the pressure on the ulcer is the first and easiest step to take. You can do this by switching positions or getting a new mattress, foam pad, or pillow that is more comfortable for your body.

Move Positions Often

Patients confined to a bed or wheelchair for an extended amount of time should be transferred at least every two hours. Seated patients should get up and move around once every 15 minutes to relieve knee and ankle strain.

Get Your Proper Nutrients

It's possible that getting more protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and zinc into your diet will aid in skin healing. A dietitian or the staff at the nursing home can help you or your loved one create a healthy eating plan.

Groom Regularly

Residents also need to be provided with opportunities for personal grooming, such as regular bathing. Wash the afflicted area with antibacterial soap and warm water to avoid infection.

Take Extra Care of the Most Sensitive Patients

Paralyzed or nerve-damaged patients may not feel the discomfort or damage caused by bed sores. For this reason, individuals may need the help of a healthcare expert to remind them to move, reposition them, or make other adjustments to ensure their comfort and prevent the onset of bed sores. The details of this should be written into a care plan.

A nursing home's obligation to provide your loved one with adequate care includes developing individualized care plans for each member. These plans consider the resident's mental and physical health at any given time and allow for regular assessments and updates to provide the best ongoing care.

Contact The Law Offices of John M. McCabe

If bed sores have injured you or a loved one in a nursing home, you may be eligible for compensation. Nursing homes have a duty to keep you safe and healthy. Nursing homes also receive so much federal aid that letting anyone get sores is unacceptable. At The Law Offices of John M. McCabe, we will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.

Sores in Nursing Homes: Stage 2

The dermis becomes exposed as the epidermis splits as the sore progress and affects the following layer of tissue:
● Connective tissue
● blood vessels
● oil and sweat glands
● hair follicles
● and nerves are all found in the dermal layer.

The fatty hypodermis lies underneath the skin's outermost layer, the dermis. This is only stage two, so the fat is still covered.

The sores of stage 2 are noticeable to the naked eye. Although it has been renamed, the ulcer (now called a lesion) is only skin deep and can look like a popped blister, abrasion, or tiny crater.

Ulcers in stage two often feel warm to the touch and have a red or purple coloration. Clear fluid is usually present at the site of a pressure ulcer in stage two.

Stage two bed ulcers develop when blood flow is stopped to the tissue. Ulcers rapidly advance through stages 1 and 2 as the skin dies. Limiting additional injury can be accomplished by releasing pressure and opening blood and oxygen vessels to the location.

What Should You Do if You Have a Stage Two Pressure Ulcer?

Infected skin and increased body temperature are common symptoms of a stage two pressure ulcer. The nursing home staff should scrub the wound with water and a saltwater mixture as they would with stage one bed uclers. The treating doctor or nurse may give the patient an over-the-counter or prescription pain reliever half an hour before cleaning the wound if it is likely to cause discomfort.

Your doctor may monitor the wound's progress while it heals with a moist gauze or a transparent bandage. They will probably look for fever, redness, and pus as indicators of infection. If the wound isn't healing, the pain is getting worse, or you're generally not feeling well, you should contact your doctor. The nursing home staff is responsible for keeping an eye out for these signs.

Stage two bed ulcers can heal from three days to three weeks. This varies from person to person and depends on their response to treatment and general health.

Stage 3 of Bed sores in Nursing Homes

Stage three bedsores in a nursing home have broken through the skin's second protective layer and are beginning to impact the underlying fatty tissues. These sores can be recognized thanks to the lesion that goes down into the dermis. Another layer affected is the hypodermis, often known as the subcutaneous or subcutaneous tissue layer.

The wound is now open to the air and can begin to heal. Where the skin has peeled away, a little crater will appear. Fat may be visible in the wound, but tendons, muscles, and bones are much less likely to be present.

Pus is more likely to be noticeable at this point. These wounds can sometimes emit a peculiar and unpleasant odor, which may draw attention.

Ulcers at Stage 3 are Life-Threatening and Pose a High Risk of Infection. Osteomyelitis refers to an infection of the bone. Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening complication of an ongoing condition.

Healing a stage three ulcer needs more intensive therapy, which may take several months. Stage three bed uclers, depending on their severity, usually recover in a matter of weeks to months.

What Treatment Options Exist For A Third-Stage Pressure Ulcer?

An individual with a stage three pressure ulcer requires urgent medical attention. If a sore has progressed to stage three, you may need more extensive medical care, possibly including surgery to debride the area and remove any necrotic or dead tissue. Antibiotics are frequently recommended for use in either preventing or treating infections. A specific bed or mattress may also be necessary to keep pressure from building up in the area again.

You shouldn't try to treat a stage three sore at home. You will require the assistance of a doctor. Depending on the severity of the wound, this type of pressure sore might take up to four months to heal. The damage can stay clean and heal properly with the help of antibiotics and other treatments.

The nursing home personnel must ensure that residents who sustain wounds while under their care receive prompt and appropriate care. Consult a nursing home abuse attorney if you or a loved one has a stage three pressure ulcer due to staying in a long-term care facility.

Stage 4

Stage four sores are the most severe kind. These are extremely painful and infectious. They may eventually manifest symptoms in the underlying muscles, ligaments, and tendons as they progress through the dermis, subcutaneous tissue, and fascia. Since muscle and bone are usually kept in closed spaces, the danger of infection is hugely significant when exposed to the air.

At this point, they are the most advanced kind of pressure ulcers and the most challenging to heal. Possible complications include severe drainage and pus from the incision and damage to:

● Nerves
● Tissue
● Joints
● Bones
● and other bodily parts.

To avoid a potentially fatal systemic infection, vigorous treatment regimens must be in place at this time. Research conducted in 2014 found that the death rate for the elderly with stage four sores was expected to be as high as 60%.

Effective therapy for a stage four pressure ulcer may take up to six months. It may be necessary to treat wounds daily with antibiotics and other supportive measures to avoid developing systemic infections.

What Should You Do if You Have a Stage Four Pressure Ulcer?

Get medical help immediately if you have a stage four pressure ulcer. Allowing bed ulcers to progress to this point can have serious, even fatal, repercussions for the patient.

In the most advanced stage of bed ulcers, stage four may spread to the muscles and ligaments. They can be noticeable in size and depth and hurt like hell. As the skin and tissue around the ulcers decay and turn black, this is a possible complication.

Dead or contaminated tissue may need to be removed surgically. Ulcers progressing to stage four are likely to be infected, as evidenced by reddened edges, a foul stench, a painful sensation, drainage of fluids, and the possible exposure of underlying bone, muscle, and tendons.

Seeking medical assistance as soon as possible is crucial for patients with stage four bed sores because full recovery can take as long as three months or even years. If a pressure ulcer is detected, immediate treatment is essential to prevent the ulcer from getting worse.

Bed sores in a nursing home are an avoidable kind of wound. Unfortunately, negligence is most likely contributing to the persistence of these wounds. If you or a loved one is suffering from bed ulcers, you may want to consult an experienced attorney about your legal options and potential compensation.

How to Guard Against Getting Bed Sores in Nursing Homes

Bed sores in a nursing home are sores on the skin that develops when a person remains in one position for an excessive amount of time. Inspect the skin daily for signs of sores if you or a loved one is immobile, unconscious, or confined to a wheelchair or bed.

Nurses and other medical staff in nursing homes have a responsibility to educate themselves on the progression of sores and apply preventative measures. Sores that are already present should be carefully monitored daily to avoid worsening.

When an elderly person's bedsores get worse, it's often a symptom of:
● Neglect
● Malpractice
● or abuse

and the family can sue for damages.

Do We Have Laws In Place To Safeguard The Elderly From Bed Sores?

Caregivers are obligated under the law to treat patients for bed sores in a way that promotes healing and prevents the ulcer from worsening. Congress passed the Elder Abuse Protection and Prosecution Act in 2017 to protect seniors from mistreating and developing sores. Additionally, the regulation will allow for more accurate statistics to be collected on elder abuse. Bed sores in nursing homes is covered in that act.

A Residents' Bill of Rights is in place to protect the rights of elderly people living in nursing homes in the United States.

Knowing the many bed ulcers and the warning signs of elder abuse and neglect is crucial if you plan to leave a loved one in a nursing facility.

Contact The Law Offices of John M. McCabe

If bed sores have injured you or a loved one in a nursing home, you may be eligible for compensation. Nursing homes have a duty to keep you safe and healthy. Nursing homes also receive so much federal aid that letting anyone get bed ulcers is unacceptable. At The Law Offices of John M. McCabe, we will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.

FREE Consultations

Call us at (866) 907-1145 24/7 to arrange to speak with a personal injury lawyer about your case, or contact us through the website today.
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