Pressure ulcers or bedsores at any stage are a clear sign of an immediate need to alter the care regimen, if not location of a patient entirely depending on the severity and extent of the bedsore injuries.
In brief, bodily pressure from lying in the same position for an extended amount of time results in either friction or pressure focalizing on certain intuitive body areas, such as the shoulders, shoulder blades, hips, buttocks, tailbone, as well as the ankles and feet. Nursing homes and their employees are responsible for the overall well-being of their residents and patience, and as part of proffering a reasonable standard of care to elderly patients, are required to engage in compulsory shifting of the patients to prevent bedsores. Facilities failing to prevent, tend to, or treat injuries of this nature are often grounds for concern. If your family member or loved one is displaying signs of bedsores, especially stage four (4) bedsores, medical care is definitely needed, and the patient’s legal options need to be explored more fully.
Stage 4 Bedsores are initially standard skin lesions caused by a lack of mobility, which if patients are left immobile or highly sedentary over a period of days or longer, progressively worsening bedsore infections and wounds are likely to develop. In cases of nursing home neglect, this is more than evident, as stage four (4) bedsores are the second most severe category of pressure ulcer injuries. The typical symptoms of stage (4) bedsores are:
Due to the serious nature of stage four (4) bedsores medical treatment is more than strongly advised, and in the case of stage four, an immediate medical necessity. Furthermore, the complications and risk of death due to infection rise with each stage of bedsores. If any bedsores are not treated within 8 weeks of their discovery, the health problems associated with these ulcers also raises significantly, with thousands of patients losing their lives annually due to untreated bedsore injuries, while thousands more experiencing amputations or other surgical interventions.
In addition to the standard bedsore or pressure ulcer treatment options and surgical intervention procedures, medication in combination with physical therapy is often recommended when dealing with stage 4 bedsores. Negative pressure therapy is a technique that involves a vacuum dressing that is used to increase the efficacy and immediacy of dermal and tissue healing in chronic or acute bedsore lesions. Though this therapy technique is fairly new, it has been statistically proven to aid in the healing process of stage four (4) without surgical intervention. Elderly patients are especially open to negative pressure therapy as it is less invasive than surgery. Moreover, when antibiotics are administered with newer medications and negative pressure therapy, there is a significant reduction in pain experienced by the patient at the same time.
With stage 4 bedsores requiring such prolonged periods of substandard care for otherwise highly vulnerable patients, nursing home or hospital negligence lawsuits are fairly commonplace. If your family member or loved one has developed stage four (4) or unstaged bedsores due to the negligence of a nursing home staff member or assisted living facility, alert the appropriate nursing home director and the patient’s primary physician immediately. It also advised that you document your efforts for any pending legal action. Ultimately, patients deserve the proper level of care, if they are not receiving this care, compensation may be available.
For additional information on stage four (4) bedsores, including prevention, treatment, and how pressure ulcers develop, consult with an attorney alongside this information from the Harvard School of Medicine, the Mayo Clinic, and the National Institutes of Health: