Bedsores: Overview

Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, are skin lesions typically caused by immobility, friction, unrelieved pressure on the skin, and in some instances, medication. Bedsores are common in older adults, especially in nursing homes. If bedsores develop, infection, itchy skin, bruises, deep wounds, and cartilage damage may occur. If not treated in time, bedsores can ultimately lead to death.

The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) created a universally-accepted scale that rates the seriousness of bedsores on a scale of 1 through 4, with the latter stage being the most severe.

What is a Stage 4 Bedsore?

Once a victim reaches that last stage of bedsores, the disease becomes extremely serious and life-threatening. According to the NPUAP scale, stage 4 bedsore symptoms consist of:

  • Large amounts of skin loss
  • Severely damaged skin
  • Damage to the muscles, bones, tendons, and joints in the affected area
  • Potential for sepsis
  • Life-threatening infections

It is imperative to seek immediate medical assistance for bedsores as quickly as possible. It is important to know that if a bedsore, or decubitus ulcer, has reached stage 4, then the prognosis becomes less promising for victims. Remain alert and regularly assess the health of your loved one residing in a nursing home or being treated in a healthcare facility.

Types of Treatments for Stage 4 Bedsores

During the first two stages, bedsores are easier to treat and usually only require saline fluids, antibiotics, and medical monitoring. Once the disease hits the final stages, though, treatment becomes more difficult. Treatment may involve taking medications and antibiotics in addition to constant bandaging, cleansing, and debridement. The victim may also need help from multidisciplinary sources such as dietitians, psychiatrists, neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons, nurses, and incontinence counselors.

Common treatment options for stage 4 bedsores consist of:

  • Repositioning frequently to remove pressure
  • Regular wound cleanings
  • Help with controlling continence
  • Surgical, mechanical, autolytic, or enzymatic debridement
  • Regular wound dressing with topical antibiotics
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Surgery
  • Diet changes

Hiring an Attorney for a Stage 4 Bedsore Nursing Home Case

If your loved one has suffered from a Stage 4 bedsore at the hands of a hospital or nursing home, an experienced medical malpractice or nursing home neglect lawyer may be able to assist you and help you recover damages. At the Brown & Brothers law firm, our nursing home abuse and neglect and medical malpractice attorneys have helped numerous victims seek justice and compensation for their case. Give us a call at 1-800-600-4210 today and we will be happy to provide you with a free case consultation.

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