Stage Three Bedsores

There are several stages of bedsores or pressure ulcers, which progressively worsen from a minor skin irritation to an open, infected dermal injury progressively, if left untreated.  The level of severity of these bedsores or pressure ulcers depends on when the skin discolorations or wounds are originally are detected, as well as the efficacy of the initial treatment efforts. Typically, the elderly or individuals who are bedridden due to injury or illness are in danger of developing bedsores of any kind. In particular, stage three (3) bedsores are particularly medically alarming, as the development of this now-serious medical issue required excessively long prolonged period of patient non-movement and a prolonged period of staff remaining unresponsive to a visible bedsore injury.

If your family member is at risk for bedsores, it’s important for your family member’s health that bedsores are not left untreated. Since bedsores or pressure ulcers develop or progress in stages, early detection and treatment can make all the difference. In particular, stage 3 bedsores only occur when stage 1 and stage 2 bedsores do not receive effective or adequate medical care.

Complication from Stage 3 Bedsores

Stage 3 bedsores were originally pressure wounds or abrasions ultimately developing into deep ulcers in the patient’s skin. These deep ulcers form a crater-like infection on a person’s skin, while also frequently disperse to the adjacent skin tissues over time. Often stage three (3) bedsores are described as a full-thickness loss of the dermal layers due to the ulcer, which means in practice that the outer layer of skin, as well as muscles, tendons and bone have been compromised to a certain degree due to the opening of the bedsore wound in stage three (3). Stage three (3) bedsores or pressure ulcers possible damage to the underlying fascia is generally not as bad as the damage caused by stage 4 ulcers. Nonetheless, if removal of the dead tissue via medically-performed debridement is not successful at stop the infection, similar to stage four (4) or stage five (5), surgery may be necessary. In fact, at an alarming frequency each year, bedsores and other pressure ulcers can be fatal and are the attributed cause to tens of thousands of deaths each year.

Surgical Treatment of Stage Three (3) Bedsores

 Surgical treatment of stage three (3) bedsores is generally considered if the wound or abrasion appears to not be healing following initial medical intervention, or if the infection is actually worsening over time. Typically, surgical procedures such as urinary diversion are used to divert any kind of bodily waste away from the wound so that it can properly heal.

Additionally, reconstruction type surgical intervention following the clearing of the ulcer may be necessary. Through the reconstruction process, the bedsore or pressure ulcer is surgically removed in its entirety along with any surrounding tissue that may have been damaged as a result of the ongoing infection. Once the infected area has been removed, the underlying bone is debrided (this is the removal of any dead tissue or bacteria via vigorous flushing with saline solution over the course of several days). After the once infected area has been thoroughly cleaned, the wound is then closed with the final caveat that plastic surgery is often required to close the wound permanently with a skin graft.

 Prevention of Stage Three (3) Bedsores

Obviously, surgical treatment is a painful and life-threatening solution to wound that could have been prevented if proper care was being provided. It is vital to remember that bedsores not only are preventable, if they should develop they can be treated immediately before they worsen. Therefore, the first step in prevention is regular inspection of any resident, patient or family member that spend extended periods of time in bed or in a wheelchair. Regular activity, repositioning and bathing are all necessary components to bedsore or pressure ulcer prevention. Additionally, maintaining a certain level of cleanliness in regards to bedsheets, bedding and clothing will ensure that even if a patient or resident is not being repositioned on a frequent basis, the likelihood of developing bedsores will be reduced.

Possible Legal Action following Discovery of Stage Three (3) Bedsores

Any bedsore whether stage 3 or not has the potentially to be disfiguring or life threatening, if not treated with an appropriate degree of care and competency by nursing home or medical professionals. If your family member has developed any kind of bedsores or pressure ulcers, this is generally grounds for legal action should damages arise as the result of negligent care causing these pressure ulcers initially.  Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are legally required to meet or provide a specific level of care. If the nursing staff is not providing that care they should be held accountable. Bedsores are a sign of patient neglect and even abuse. Therefore, you are entitled to file a bedsore lawsuit against a nursing home, hospital or assisted living facility to recover compensation for medical expenses and losses.

For Additional Sources of Information on Stage Three (3) Bedsores from the Mayo Clinic and others, see:

 

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bedsores/basics/symptoms/con-20030848

http://www.canhr.org/factsheets/nh_fs/html/fs_CareStandards.html

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007071.htm

 

 

 

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