A common injury resulting from nursing home abuse or negligence are bedsores. In most situations, these painful injuries are easily avoidable. If left untreated, bed sores can be deadly. Yet countless residents suffer from bedsores as a result of caregivers’ neglect or mistreatment.
At McGrady Law, we are passionate about helping victims of nursing home abuse and negligence and will help you fight for just compensation. We regularly represent nursing home residents and their families throughout Montana as the result of bedsores resulting from improper care.
What are Bedsores?
Bedsores are pressure-induced skin and soft tissue injuries at localized areas of damage to the skin and/or underlying tissue usually over a bony prominence, such as hips and tailbones. Bedsores also occur on the backs of the arms and legs.
Bedsores are sometimes called pressure injuries, and in the past were referred to as pressure ulcers. Changes were made to the National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel (NPIAP) system favoring the use of the term “pressure injury” instead of “pressure ulcer” because lesser degrees of skin damage due to pressure may not be associated with skin ulceration.
Signs and Symptoms of Bedsores
Nursing home residents and their families must be aware of the signs and symptoms of bedsores as nursing home employees are not always vigilant about recognizing this risk. Some of the early signs and symptoms of pressure injuries include:
- Skin discoloration
- Skin does not lighten (blanch) in color when touched
- Pain and tenderness in the affected area
- Firmness or softness in the affected area
Clinical Staging of Pressure Injuries
One of the most important factors in a case involving bedsores is the clinical staging of bedsores or pressure injuries. A recognized staging system from NPIAP is as follows:
- Stage 1 is characterized by intact skin with a localized area of nonblanchable skin, which may appear differently in darkly pigmented skin. The presence of blanchable erythema or changes in sensation, temperature, or firmness may precede visual changes. Color changes do not include purple or maroon discoloration; these may indicate deep pressure injury.
- Stage 2 is characterized by partial-thickness loss of skin with exposed dermis. The affected area is viable, pink or red, moist, and may also present as an intact or ruptured serum-filled blister. Fat (adipose) is not visible and deeper tissues are not visible.
- Stage 3 is characterized by full-thickness skin loss, in which fat is visible in the ulcer and granulation tissue and rolled wound edges are often present. Fascia, muscle, tendon, ligament, cartilage, and/or bone are not exposed.
- Stage 4 is characterize by full-thickness skin and tissue loss with exposed or directly palpable fascia, muscle, tendon, ligament, cartilage or bone in the ulcer.
- Unstageable pressure injury is characterized by full-thickness skin and tissue loss in which the extent of tissue damage within the ulcer cannot be confirmed because it is obscured by slough or eschar.
- Deep tissue pressure injury is characterized as intact or non-intact skin with a localized area of persistent non-blanchable deep red, maroon, purple discoloration revealing a dark wound bed or blood filled blister.
Other Factors contributing to Pressure Ulcers
There are several host and environmental factors which increase the risk of developing ulcers during hospitalization for elders. Some of these include immobility, poor nutritional status, incontinence, and neurologic impairment. Nursing homes are trained to deal with these factors, but they sometimes fail in their execution.
Contact a Montana Nursing Homes Bedsore Lawyer
If you have been the victim of nursing home abuse or negligence, you should contact McGrady Law to determine your legal rights and just compensation.