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What Are Stage 4 Pressure Ulcers and Why Are They Dangerous?

You may be wondering what a pressure ulcer is. More commonly known as a bedsore, pressure ulcers are an unfortunate commonality in more than 1 in ten nursing home residents. Pressure ulcers are described in four different stages, and stage four pressure ulcers are dangerous.

Dalli & Marino, LLP is an award-winning legal team helping victims of nursing home abuse in New York. When you find that your elderly loved one is suffering from stage four pressure ulcers, this is commonly a possible sign of abuse or neglect by nursing home staff. 

What Are the Four Stages of Pressure Ulcers?

Bedsores are diagnosed in four different stages and, when left untreated, may mature from stage one to four. If a pressure ulcer is allowed to get to stage four, the victim may be in danger. The four stages of pressure ulcers are as follows:

  • Stage One: The ulcer, or sore, is not an open wound, but it may be painful.
  • Stage Two: The skin will break open or form an ulcer. This may look like a bad scrape or shallow crater in the skin. 
  • Stage Three: The ulcer or sore will worsen and may begin to show fatty tissue. 
  • Stage Four: The wound will become very deep. As the ulcer deepens, muscle or bone may be visible, making infection a strong possibility if not cared for. 

No one should have to go through the painful stages of pressure ulcers, but it is an unfortunate reality for many nursing home residents. Stage four bedsores are especially dangerous for the high probability of the affected individual developing a life-threatening infection. If your loved one has suffered from pressure ulcers due to neglect or abuse, you may want to contact a nursing home abuse attorney. 

Common Symptoms of Stage Four Pressure Ulcers

If you think that your elderly loved one may have a stage four bedsore, there are some common symptoms to look for. Aside from being a big, deep, and painful sore, pressure ulcers usually affect the skin surrounding the wound as well. Someone with a stage four pressure ulcer may have:

  • Blackened or discolored skin surrounding the area the ulcer is 
  • Exposed deep tissue, tendons, muscles, ligaments, and bones
  • Signs of an infection, like blisters, pus, or odors, near the skin

If you believe that your family member has one or more symptoms indicating a stage four pressure ulcer, you should consult with their caretakers and seek medical attention. 

How to Prevent Pressure Ulcers

Pressure ulcers, or bedsores, may be prevented utilizing the following tips:

  • Avoid clothes with buttons
  • Avoid wrinkles in bedding
  • Avoid doughnut cushions
  • Check skin daily
  • Change clothing and bedding regularly
  • Keep skin clean and dry
  • Moisturize skin
  • Shift weight once an hour

In addition to these tips, it is also essential to make sure that nursing home staff are properly caring for your loved ones and not neglecting them. 

New York Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Are Here to Help

Stage four pressure ulcers can be a danger to anyone, especially the elderly, as they often leave patients with severe infections. If your elderly loved one has suffered from pressure ulcers due to the neglect or abuse of nursing home staff, you may want to get help from an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer.

Dalli & Marino, LLP has been helping nursing home abuse victims in New York since 1996. We offer our clients the dedicated and trusted representation needed to help you build a strong claim. For a free case evaluation, contact us here or call (888) 465-8790.