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The 4 Stages of Pressure Ulcers

Bedsores or pressure ulcers are localized pressure injuries that occur on the skin or tissue usually in areas near a bone. While anyone can get a pressure ulcer, they most commonly occur in the elderly or individuals who are sedentary for long periods of time. Specifically, pressure ulcers commonly occur in nursing home residents. If your loved one has suffered from pressure ulcers that have progressed beyond stage one, it’s usually a signal they are being neglected at their facility. Almost all advanced bedsores are preventable and when pressure ulcers progress to advanced stages, legal action should be taken to protect the rights of your loved ones. 

How Do Pressure Ulcers Happen?

Pressure ulcers are caused by consistent pressure on the skin. Over time, this friction on the soft tissue of the body obstructs blood flow, stretching the skin and tearing the blood vessels.  The resulting damage and inflammation can break down the skin and in some cases, cause tissue damage. If left untreated, pressure ulcers can cause serious infections and complications. Some of the most common areas of the body where pressure ulcers occur include: 

  • Tailbone
  • Hips
  • Ankles
  • Shoulders
  • Sacrum 

These are just some of the areas of the body most prone to pressure ulcers. 

Who Is Most Susceptible to Getting Pressure Ulcers?

Elderly and disabled individuals are at the greatest risk of experiencing pressure ulcers. The best way to prevent bedsores is to move your position every 15 minutes. Individuals who are in nursing home facilities should have staff members help them reposition themselves at least every two hours. Staying in the same position for extended periods of time is one of the most common culprits of bedsores. 

What Are the Four Stages of Pressure Ulcers?

To assist healthcare providers in proper diagnosis, pressure ulcers are categorized into four different stages. It is essential for caregivers to know and recognize the different stages of bedsores so that they can deliver the appropriate level of care in a timely manner. The four stages of bedsores include: 

  • Stage one bedsores. In a stage one bedsore, the skin has not broken but is discolored. Usually, a red, irritated area will appear at the affected area and the skin will feel different with touch. 
  • Stage two bedsores. In a stage two bedsore, the uppermost layer of the skin breaks, creating an open but shallow sore. At this stage, the skin usually feels warm to the touch and drainage could be present. 
  • Stage three bedsores. A stage three ulcer is a serious condition. At this stage, the ulcer has significantly progressed. Usually, the skin will show signs of infection past the uppermost layer of the skin and into the dermis and there will typically be deep tissue damage. Stage three bedsores require immediate medical attention to prevent serious complications from arising. 
  • Stage four bedsores. Stage 4 pressure ulcers can quickly become life-threatening. At this stage, a severe infection is present that usually extends beyond the skin into the muscle and potentially the joints and bone. Additionally, a large, open wound is present. 

When bedsores are treated in the early stages, they can usually easily heal with a round of antibiotics. However, when left unattended, bedsores can quickly escalate and cause severe complications. If your loved one has suffered from a serious bedsore at their nursing home, it may be beneficial to consider taking legal action. 

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 essential 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. Pressure ulcers are one of the most common signs of neglect in nursing homes. If your loved one has suffered from severe bedsores at their nursing home, the team at Dalli & Marino is here to help. 

Our seasoned New York nursing home abuse 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. Call (888) 465-8790 or complete our contact form for a free consultation. 


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