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Bed Sore Stages
A bedsore, also referred to as a pressure sore, pressure ulcer and decubitus ulcer, is a localized pressure injury on skin or underlying tissue, usually occurring over areas of bone.
If your loved one has suffered from pressure sores that have progressed beyond stage 1 and to a deep tissue injury, this means that someone has missed signs of infection.
It is important for families to understand stages of pressure injuries.
How Pressure Sores Happen
The bedsore is often caused by pressure, friction or shearing of soft tissue on the body, resulting in partial or complete blood flow obstruction. Shearing can stretch and tear blood vessels feeding the skin.
First, the skin breaks down. Then, the injury can progress to tissue damage, such as dead tissue and even worse as the infection progresses.
Care and medical advice is a must at the first signs of a pressure sore.
Legal Help for Pressure Ulcers
If your loved one has a stage three or four pressure sore during a nursing home admission, you may be able to pursue a case against the facility for negligence. Pressure injury and pressure sores are often the fault of the skilled nursing facility Free legal case reviews.
Where a Bed Sore May Develop
Common areas for bed sore development can include the
- shoulder blades
- back of the head.
Who Can Get Pressure Sores?
Individuals most susceptible to developing pressure ulcers are the elderly, disabled, bed bound and wheelchair-bound individuals, and those that do not have the ability to reposition themselves without assistance.
Ideally, people need to move every 15 minutes to avoid damage to the skin and tissue. When they are in a nursing home, staff should change their position every 2 hours.
It is vital to change your position because being in one position for a long time can cause bed sores. Also, nurses and aides should make sure that something covers bony areas that are prone to sores.
The Risks of Pressure Injuries
Those that are malnourished, dehydrated or with fragile skin, bowel incontinence, urinary incontinence or suffering from Alzheimer’s disease have an increased potential of developing a pressure ulcer.
Though decubitus ulcers can be serious and life-threatening, they are highly treatable, especially in stage 1 or 2 pressure sores, and recovery can be complete with proper diagnosis and care.
Staging Process of Pressure Sores
The staging process for decubitus ulcers was developed by the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel to assist practitioners and healthcare providers in properly diagnosing and treating a bedsore. Below is a complete list of stages of bed sores and development.
First, you should know that proper skin care is a must to prevent sores. Nursing home staff must act to clean the area with mild soap every day and need to be vigilant to keep a mild sore from becoming an open sore.
It is vital for caregivers to recognize the stages in time to deliver the appropriate care. They need to be able to spot color changes early.
How to Stage Pressure Ulcers
Recognizing and treating pressure injuries before they progress to a deep tissue injury involves knowing the stage. Recognizing the signs of infection, dead tissue and stages of pressure injury is key to successful treatment.
Caregivers should scan the affected place and all areas of the body to observe the color and condition of the skin. They should look for all possible pressure sores.
Stage One Bedsore
Recognizing pressure injuries at stage one allows the caregiver to intervene and take quick action as early as possible to prevent the condition from becoming worse.
Indicators of a this pressure sore include:
- The skin is intact (unbroken) but discolored. A reddened area will appear on individuals will light complexion and purple, bluish or white on people with darker complexions.
- With this level of pressure sores, the skin may feel different. There is a detectable change in skin temperature – either cool or warm when compared to surrounding skin areas.
Stage Two Bedsore
Stage 2 pressure ulcers are advancing sores where the condition is significantly worse than the first one. Common indicators include:
- In a stage 2 injury, the skin may appear warm to the touch
- The skin is broken at the uppermost layer (epidermis), which creates an open, shallow sore
- At this point, drainage could be present
Stage Three Bedsore
At stage 3, there is significant progress of a serious pressure ulcer, and proper medical treatment using proven methods, devices and dressings is required. Indicators of a stage 3 bed sore include:
- The skin show signs of ulceration extending through the second skin layer (dermis) into fat and subcutaneous tissue. In other words, there is definite tissue damage and dead tissue.
- The stage 3 pressure sore is significantly deeper as compared to a stage 1 pressure ulcer or a stage 2 infection. It is now a deep tissue problem. Signs of this tissue problem may include a blood filled blister.
Stage Four Bedsore
Stage 4 pressure sores are often life threatening, where serious infection is likely to occur. Common indicators include:
- The ulcerated tissue breakdown now extends deep into the muscle and possibly the bone
- There is typically a significant amount of dead (necrotic) tissue and the area may be brown or black.
- Muscle and bone may be impacted
- The wound is open
At this point, the wound is usually draining. It is imperative to seek immediate medical care from a doctor. If not, the patient could develop sepsis and go into septic shock
More than likely surgery or debridement will be required to manage the wound. Most stage four bedsores take up to one year to heal, when healing is possible. Stage 4 pressure ulcers will have long-term health impacts.
What to Do If Your Loved One Has an Advanced Stage Pressure Sore Injury?
On the first sign of a pressure sore, it is essential to relieve the pressure for up to 30 minutes to allow blood flow to be restored to the area.
Note that just because the sore appears small in size, it may not present a little problem. This is because skin damage often starts below the top layers
The biggest risk factor that causes pressure sores to become a critical situation is the lack of appropriate treatment. Pressure ulcers almost never reach stage 4 if someone is doing their job correctly.
How to Stage Pressure Ulcers
In addition to treatment, typical steps to avoid or minimize the progression of the condition to advancing bedsore stages include:
- Keep the pressure off the area
- Maintain good hygiene, including cleaning the area around the sore.
- Improve diet and hydration
- Keep the area of the bed sores clean and dry
- Minimize friction when moving or repositioning
- Seek medical care from a wound care nurse or doctor
Hiring an Attorney to Seek Financial Compensation for Nursing Home Negligence
Stage three and four bedsores are serious conditions that can take the life of the individual. This is because these sores are challenging to heal and restore health.
Treating pressure sores keep them from worsening. Healthcare providers recognize that advancing bedsore stages never need to occur, and are often the result of negligence by caregivers.
Because of that, many families hire an attorney to stop the neglect of their loved one suffering from an advancing pressure sore.
Nursing Home Pressure Sore Attorneys
Nursing Home Law Center LLC at (800) 926-7565 can assist you in recovering damages if a loved one has been neglected in a nursing home, hospital, assisted living facility, resident home, group home or other medical center.
Our network of attorneys specializes in medical malpractice and elder abuse cases, and have assisted many victims seeking justice and financial compensation.
We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your claim and provide valuable legal options on how to proceed.