San Antonio Decubitus Ulcer Attorney
Helping Decubitus Ulcer Victims Get Answers and Protect Their Rights
Decubitus ulcer is the medical term for what is commonly known as bedsores. Also called pressure ulcers or pressure sores, these injuries are caused by a build-up of pressure on a localized area of the body. Most commonly, ulcers develop on bony areas, such as the elbows, heels, or tailbone. A build-up of pressure on the skin can cause inflammation, and can be irritating or painful. If treated quickly, decubitus ulcers generally resolve without much risk of complications. If wounds are not treated properly, they can lead to skin deterioration and tissue death.
At Brown, Christie & Green, we help individuals who have developed decubitus ulcers as a result of improper or inadequate care. Whether your wound developed in a hospital, nursing home, or long-term care facility, our San Antonio decubitus ulcer attorney can help. Our goal is to protect your legal rights and ensure that you get the justice and compensation you deserve after medical malpractice or negligence.
At any time, around three million Americans suffer from decubitus ulcers.
Decubitus ulcers are considered to be preventable. Healthcare standards have very clear guidelines related to turning or repositioning patients with limited mobility. These guidelines are designed to prevent ulcers from forming, and to help caregivers identify them before it is too late. These preventable injuries should not occur, and certainly should not progress past stage one.
If you or someone you love has developed a decubitus ulcer, and you believe that it should have, and could have, been prevented, contact Brown, Christie & Green today. Let our San Antonio decubitus ulcer attorney investigate your situation and determine if your injuries were the result of medical malpractice or negligence.
- Stage One - Inflammation, redness, or soreness affecting the top layer of skin.
- Stage Two - Shallow open wound penetrating the top layer of skin and exposing the second layer.
- Stage Three - Skin is completely dissolved and fat and tissue are exposed and affected.
- Stage Four - Skin and fat are dissolved and wound extends to muscle or bone.
- Unstageable - Wound is infected or necrotic, and so severe it cannot be staged.
Decubitus ulcers are preventable, and should never be allowed to progress past stage one. Progressing wounds could be a sign of malpractice or neglect.
Stage 4 Bedsore Prognosis Information
Decubitus ulcers are painful open wounds common among elderly individuals and bed-ridden hospital patients. Bedsores most often occur on the rear portion of the body, primarily in areas where there is little muscle or fat covering the bony areas. While any bedsore can cause discomfort and illness, a stage 3 or stage 4 bedsore prognosis can be difficult to manage.
With any bedsore, the key to a positive prognosis is early detection and treatment. Stage 1 and 2 generally are treatable with general medical care, and resolve in a matter of weeks. Stage 3 and 4, however, may be exacerbated by other illness or injury, and often require additional, more lengthy methods of treatment.
Unfortunately, the mortality rate among individuals with stage 4 bedsores is quite high, with nearly 70 percent of individuals diagnosed with stage 4 bedsores dying within 180 days. Overall, the average lifespan of individuals with stage 4 bedsores is less than 50 days.
Stage 4 Bedsore Prognosis Exacerbated by Underlying Illness
While stage 4 bedsores cause a great deal of pain, discomfort, and limited mobility, there are often underlying illnesses or conditions that contribute to the high mortality rate. Infections and sepsis are common illnesses resulting in extended treatment or death for individuals with bedsores. Additionally, many individuals diagnosed with bedsores are already being treated for serious conditions, some of which can contribute to a negative prognosis.
Causes of Bedsores
Numerous factors may contribute to the development of bedsores. The most common causes of bedsores include:
- Immobility: Individuals who are restricted to a bed or wheelchair are more susceptible to bedsores if they are not routinely rotated or moved to evenly disperse the pressure on their body.
- Friction: Consistent rubbing or scraping of the skin on rough or hard surfaces can damage the skin leading to wounds.
- Unsanitary Conditions: Individuals who are left in unsanitary undergarments or bedding for extended periods of time are at a significant risk for developing bedsores. In addition to the development of open sores, bacteria from unsanitary conditions can increase the risk of infection.
Unfortunately, many bedsores are caused by the negligence of caregivers in hospitals or nursing homes. In these situations, it may be beneficial for those suffering from bedsores and their family to contact an attorney to explore their rights.