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Bedsore Complications Nursing Home Residents Should Be Aware Of

According to the CDC, one out of 10 nursing home residents suffer from bedsores. Bedsores also referred to as pressure sores and pressure ulcers, are one of the most common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect or medical malpractice in a hospital. Bedsores occur when there is unrelieved pressure to the skin and most commonly arise in areas of the body where the bone and skin are in close contact, such as the hips, back, and ankles. Nursing home residents are a common victim of bedsores, as they are often sedentary for long periods of time. 

Unfortunately, bedsores are a prevalent problem in nursing homes and are usually caused by a lack of patient attention or improper medical care. If your elderly loved ones are experiencing bedsores, it’s important to speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer. Here are some bedsore complications nursing home residents should be aware of. 

What Is a Bedsore?

A bedsore or pressure sore usually starts of as a piece of skin that is red, broken or blistered. As the sore continues to develop, the condition can invade a person’s bones, ligaments, and muscles. In general, there are four stages of a bedsore:

  • During stage one, the bedsore will present as an area of your skin that is red, itchy, and irritated. When touched, the inflamed area may feel warm and spongy 
  • During stage two, some skin loss will occur and the bedsore may look like an open wound. The wound may resemble an abrasion or blister and the tissues surrounding the sore may have a purple or red color. If bedsores are treated properly at this stage, they can usually heal fairly quickly. 
  • In stage three, the bedsore has been left untreated long enough for all the layers of the surrounding skin to be affected including the muscle. The wound at this stage will resemble a crater and may show fat around the infected area. 
  • Stage four is the most advanced stage of a bedsore. By this time, damage occurs to the bone, joints, and tendons and a significant amount of skin has been destroyed. These sores are very difficult to treat and can have serious complications. 

When treated early, bedsores can easily heal. However, if left unattended, bedsores can cause serious, life-threatening complications. 

What are Bedsore Complications Nursing Home Residents Should be Aware of?

If bedsores are not treated and monitored in the early stages, they can lead to an array of complications. Some of the potential medical complications that can arise from an untreated bedsore include: 

  • Cellulitis. If left untreated, the infection caused by a bedsore can easily spread to the deeper layers of the skin and cause cellulitis. Cellulitis can cause extreme redness, pain and swelling on a person’s skin. A course of antibiotics is needed to prevent a life-threatening infection. 
  • Infection of the bone (Osteomyelitis). Bedsores that are not monitored can also cause significant harm to a person’s bone. At this point, treatment includes heavy doses of antibiotics or surgery to remove the joint and bone tissue. 
  • Gangrene. Caused by the gas emitted from bacteria, gangrene is a serious, life-threatening infection that can be caused by untreated bedsores. Patients with gangrene suffer severe pain and swelling and typically need an amputation of the affected area. 
  • Sepsis. One of the most common complications from bedsores, sepsis is a blood infection that quickly spreads throughout the body, causing organ failure and death. Without proper medical care, affected patients can suffer septic shock. 

Unfortunately, the mortality rate is high for individuals who experience serious complications from a bedsore. However, nearly every advanced stage bedsore is preventable. Usually, when a patient develops a bedsore at a nursing home facility it is a sign of neglect. 

Call an Expert Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in New York City

If you are noticing signs of abuse in your loved one at their nursing home, it’s important to contact the authorities and seek legal representation. Unfortunately, many nursing homes are plagued by significant understaffing, causing industry-wide problems of neglect and abuse. At Dalli & Marino, we are dedicated to fighting the injustices in the nursing home system. 

Our seasoned New York trial attorneys have been aggressively advocating for victims of nursing home abuse since 1996. We are committed to cultivating strong relationships with our clients through trusted, reliable communication. Our team of skilled attorneys approaches each case on an individual basis and is dedicated to helping you recover the money you deserve to compensate for your experience. Give us a call at (888) 465-8790 or complete our contact form for a free consultation.

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