As we age, it gets more difficult to get in and out of bed, move around, and improve our circulation—especially if living in a nursing home. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, they might complain about bed sores. This is a sign that they’re not receiving the care they need. Nursing homes should be taking measures to help relieve that pressure, whether it’s offering more cushioning, helping the patient shift positions, or ensuring that they get out of bed more frequently.
Bed Sore Causes
Bed sores are ulcers caused by continuous pressure on the skin, usually caused from lying in bed for days, weeks or even months at a time. They typically develop on bony areas such as the tailbone, ankles, heels and hips. However, they may also develop from prolonged exposure to urine and stool, medical conditions that affect circulation and poor nutrition or hydration. All of these causes could be linked to nursing home abuse.
Bed Sore Stages
Understanding bed sore stages can help you determine what kind of medical intervention is necessary—and how negligent the nursing home has been.
- Stage one. This is the mildest form, in which the skin simply looks red. It may feel irritated or sensitive, but there are no open wounds. To test whether it’s a bed sore, push on the red area with your finger. If it turns pale when you release it, it’s probably just irritated. If it doesn’t, it’s a bed sore.
- Stage two. In this stage, the bed sore gets even more painful and may start developing a blister. If you notice a bed sore at this point, seek medical attention right away to prevent infection.
- Stage three. This stage is unmistakable. The sore will include an open wound, foul odor and may ooze pus. This could require the help of antibiotics or mild surgical procedures.
- Stage four. Stage four bed sores are horrifying. They may have progressed into the muscle, tissue, bones and cartilage. The sore is significantly larger than the other stages and may appear black. Patients with stage four bed sores are highly likely to get an infection, and will almost certainly need surgical intervention.
If your loved one is suffering from bed sores, they may be due to nursing home abuse. Talking to an attorney can help you explore your legal options.
Contact Me for Help with Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse is rampant throughout Ohio, but we can work to hold these facilities responsible. When it comes to negligent healthcare providers, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at 877.944.4373 today for more information.