Millions of elderly or disabled Americans live in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In many cases, families make the difficult decision to place a loved one in this type of facility because they cannot provide the needed care. Facilities that have trained doctors and nurses on staff can attend to patients’ medical needs and ensure that they are receiving the proper treatment at all times. Unfortunately, far too many nursing homes fall short of this ideal, and patients can suffer harm due to nursing home negligence. In many cases, nursing home neglect occurs because of inadequate staffing or supervision. Staff members’ failure to properly check on patients and provide them with the necessary care may lead to bedsores. These injuries can be very painful, and they can lead to additional complications that threaten a person’s overall health and well-being.
Stages of Bedsore Injuries
Bedsores are also known as pressure sores or pressure ulcers, and they can occur when a person stays in the same position for too long. Pressure and friction on parts of the body such as the back, shoulders, buttocks, hips, thighs, ankles, or heels can damage the skin or cut off blood supply to the underlying tissue. Bedsores progress through four stages:
Stage 1 – Mild sores will only affect the top layer of skin, resulting in redness, pain, or itching. When these types of sores are noticed in time, they can be treated by adjusting a person’s position to relieve pressure on the affected area, while also using soft padding. With the correct treatment, stage 1 sores will usually heal within a few days.
Stage 2 – Sores that affect lower layers of the skin will result in open wounds or blisters, as well as red or swollen skin around the wound. These wounds can be treated by relieving pressure and cleaning and bandaging the wound. Additional treatment may also be needed if the wound becomes infected. With proper treatment, a stage 2 sore may take between several days and multiple weeks to heal.
Stage 3 – If left untreated, a sore may progress through the skin and affect the underlying fatty tissue. These sores will resemble a crater and have a foul smell. Pus or other liquids may drain from the wound, and skin around the sore may be black if it has died. Treatment may involve the removal of dead tissue and the administration of antibiotics to fight infections. Typically, stage 3 sores take one to four months to heal.
Stage 4 – The most serious bedsores may affect muscles, tendons, or ligaments. They will be very deep, and muscle tissue or bones may be visible. Surgery may be needed to address the damage, and treatment will also be needed to address infections. Stage 4 sores will usually take several months or multiple years to fully heal.
Contact Our Bloomington Nursing Home Bedsore Injury Attorneys
If your loved one has experienced bedsores while residing in a nursing home, the attorneys of Kanoski Bresney can help you gather evidence to show that their injuries occurred because of neglect by staff members. We will work to ensure that a negligent nursing home is held responsible for the harm your family has suffered. Contact a Decatur nursing home neglect lawyer today at 888-826-8682 to arrange a complimentary consultation.