Many Colorado residents have a loved one in a nursing home. Sadly, some of those residents may have bedsores, which can often be a sign of nursing home neglect.
What are bedsores?
Bedsores are painful pressure wounds on a person’s skin. They are caused by being in the same position for too long such as lying in a bed or sitting in a wheelchair without being moved for an extended period. These injures are considered classic signs of nursing home neglect.
Bedsores can range in severity. They usually develop on areas of the body that are bony and that have pressure points such as the elbows, heels, shoulders, hips, tailbone and even the back of the head. When these injuries first develop, they can be reversed if the person receives medical treatment. However, they can progress and become severe to the point where they could result in skin and tissue being lost and bone being exposed.
What are the stages of bedsores?
Stage 1 is the least severe while stage 4 is the most severe. At stage 1, the bedsore has just developed and is characterized by redness of the skin in the affected area.
Stage 2 bedsores results in a loss of partial thickness of the skin. They might include a blister, abrasion or shallow crater.
By stage 3, bedsores result in a loss of full thickness of the skin. Tissue underneath the skin is exposed and the area appears like a deep crater.
Stage 4 is the most serious type of bedsore. It results in a full loss of skin thickness and tissue with muscle or bone being exposed in the affected area.
Severe bedsores can be life-threatening. It’s very common for older people with these bedsores to develop infections that can spread from the affected area to internal organs. Abscesses and septic infection can occur.
Nursing home staff is required to provide proper care to the residents to ensure that bedsores can be treated as soon as they’re detected. This should be at the earliest stage. If your loved one has suffered, hold the nursing home accountable.