Bedsores – also known as “pressure sores,” “pressure ulcers,” and “decubitus ulcers” – are an unfortunate reality in nursing homes, but many of these cases are entirely preventable and result from the negligence of the nursing home or particular staff members. If your loved one is suffering from bed sores in a nursing home due to negligence, contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Development of bed sores often results from neglect, inadequate care, understaffing, or poor living conditions. Other examples of negligence include patients being left in beds or wheelchairs for extended periods of time; patients being left to sit in their own excrement; patients being chemically-sedated; and patients not receiving adequate hydration and nutrition.
F-Tag 314 (42 C.F.R.483.25(c)) of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) specifically addresses bedsores and requires nursing homes to ensure that: “(1) A resident who enters the facility without pressure sores does not develop pressure sores unless the individual’s clinical condition demonstrates that they were unavoidable;” and “(2) A resident having pressure sores receives necessary treatment and services to promote healing, prevent infection, and prevent new sores from developing.”
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that up to 11% of all nursing home patients suffer from bed sores, and most of these are “Stage 2” bed sores which have usually broken through the skin. Here are the four stages of bed sores according to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel:
- Stage 1 – Stage 1 bed sores are usually red and may feel painful or itchy; they are typically “superficial” wounds which heal when pressure is relieved.
- Stage 2 – Stage 2 typically involves skin loss – either in the outer layer, deeper layers, or both – and these are open sores which appear similar to abrasions or blisters with possible red or purple discoloration in the surrounding area. These sores can heal successfully if treated in a timely manner.
- Stage 3 – These are deep sores which extend through all layers of the skin and through to the muscle, resulting in damaged or destroyed tissue and requiring urgent medical attention.
- Stage 4 – Stage 4 sores involve large-scale skin loss and damage to bone, muscle, and even joints or tendons in some cases. These sores can result in fatal infections, such as sepsis, and the healing process can be very difficult regardless; patients with physical disabilities who suffer from bed sores may be particularly prone to Stage 4 sores in the spine, shoulder blades, tailbone/buttocks, heels, ears, and back of the head.
Some serious bedsores may be considered “unstageable” by medical professionals due to the amount of dead tissue and damage to skin, bone, and muscle.
If your loved one is suffering from bed sores in a nursing home due to negligence, contact Agruss Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation. We are a personal injury law firm representing individuals (and their families) who have suffered an injury. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you. Lastly, Agruss Law Firm, LLC is not paid attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.