A bedsore, by definition, is what is called a decubitus ulcer, and what it means is there is a breakdown in the tissue. When there is pressure on a specific spot, it can cause skin irritation, which, if left untreated, can cause the tissue to break down and ultimately result in an infection. Bedsores are also alternatively known as pressure sores, pressure ulcers, and other deep-tissue injury, which is another way of masking what a decubitus ulcer is.
Bedsores often occur on individuals who are limited in their ability to change positions. Not only are bedsores painful, but they can lead to much more serious health complications, and, in the cases of nursing homes, are usually telltale signs of underlying problems, such as neglect.
No one wants to think that their loved one is not receiving the care that they need and deserve in a nursing home, however, unfortunately, there are cases where it happens. For this reason, it is crucial for a person who notices red flags like bedsores on their loved one in a nursing home to contact a Clearwater nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss what options they have and what the best way to proceed would be.
When Bedsores Occur
Bedsores are particularly common for people living with the assistance of others, in particular, hospitals and nursing homes. Many people in these situations spend a substantial amount of their time lying down, and the constant pressure can lead to skin damage and eventually infection.
In addition, people in hospitals and nursing homes often have compromised immune systems, making infection all the more serious.
Hospital and nursing home workers are aware of the risk of bedsores and should take steps to prevent their development. Bedsores are easily preventable by regularly changing a mobility-restricted person’s position and paying attention to any lesions or sores developing on parts of the body.
Bedsores most commonly develop on contact points, in particular the bonier parts of the body. By changing positions regularly, people with restricted mobility can avoid dangerously infected bedsores
Different Degrees and Stages
In the early stages, bedsores are simply irritation, however, as the irritation progresses, it can become tissue damage. That tissue damage can then become septic, meaning it becomes infected. Sepsis is very difficult to treat in elderly people because the medications that they need are very harsh, leaving elderly people very susceptible to injury or death.
There are five different levels of bedsores. One through four are the different stages that a pressure ulcer or a decubitus ulcer will go through, going from redness and soreness to skin breaking down, to tissue being affected, to bruising, and finally to infection. The fifth level is what is called an unstageable ulcer, which means that the ulcer has come to the point where it is so bad that they cannot even determine where it is because the tissue has degraded to a point where it is just rotten meat, and can ultimately lead to muscular damage and even skeletal damage.
Lack of Care
Bedsores should never happen because if an individual is monitored, rotated, washed, cleaned, and inspected, there would be no opportunity for them to occur. Ultimately, if a person is being treated with dignity and are not being abandoned, they should never get a bedsore.
If an individual in a nursing home has bedsores, that very well may mean that they are not being properly cared for and may even be related to dehydration and/or malnutrition. Bedsores may also be a sign that the person is not being cleaned appropriately.may be outward signs that would lead us to believe that an individual is being neglected, so a bedsore is always a red flag.
Overall, bedsores can be an outward sign that a person in a nursing home is being neglected, and are therefore a red flag to the treatment that person is receiving.