Can Bed Sores Lead to Amputation of Limbs?

Bedsores are a common but often overlooked complication for bedridden patients. If left untreated, these sores can develop into a life-threatening infection like septic shock, leading to amputation.

Have you or a loved one suffered from bedsores? It is essential to seek legal assistance to hold the hospital or nursing home responsible for their negligence.

The personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center have experience prosecuting cases of pressure sore neglect and can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Amputation LimbsContact our nursing home bed sore injury lawyers today at (800) 926-7565 or through a contact form for a free consultation to explore your legal options. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

Can Bed Sores Lead to Amputation of Limbs?

According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 2.5 million Americans suffer from pressure sores.

About 60,000 will lose limbs due to complications related to their condition. Bedsores are painful open wounds that can occur when sustained pressure cuts off blood flow to an area of skin.

If not treated properly, they can lead to severe infections that poison the blood and damage tissue. In extreme cases, amputation may be necessary to save a person's life.

Although pressure sores are most common in elderly adults and people with disabilities, anyone who is immobile for long periods is at an increased risk.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent ulceration from developing in the first place.

Pressure Sores in Nursing Homes

Pressure sores, also known as bedsores or decubitus ulcers, are a serious health concern for nursing home residents. They are caused by prolonged pressure on the skin, leading to tissue damage and infection.

When the open wound is left untreated and not given any form of medical attention, it could lead to an infection. The injury can affect the skin and the healthy tissue below the skin.

When someone has a decubitus ulcer, a serious wound can often lead to surgical removal of a limb.

Pressure Ulcers in Assisted Homes

Nursing home residents are at high risk for developing pressure ulcers. Pressure ulcers are injuries to the skin and underlying muscle tissue when prolonged pressure cuts blood flow to the affected area.

Limited mobility may cause the affected region to press against a bony surface for a prolonged period, causing bedsores.

Nursing Home Bed Sores

Bedsores, also called pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, are lesions that develop when the skin and underlying tissue are compressed between a hard surface, such as a bed or wheelchair, and bone for an extended period causing the skin tissue to break down and die.

The early signs of bedsores can be challenging to spot, as they often start out looking like a simple bruise. However, the affected region may become swollen and red.

Developing bedsores on your body can be a serious health issue. If not treated immediately, they can lead to pressure injuries such as damaged tissue, sepsis, and amputation.

Bed Sores Leading to Amputation of Limbs Statistics

A study by the University of Michigan showed that bedsores accounted for almost half (47%) of all hospital-acquired amputations in 2018. That’s more than any other type of hospital-acquired infection.

Most amputations caused by bedsores are below the knee, but nursing home patients may lose an arm or part of their foot in some less severe cases.

Patients with bedsores are also more likely to die than those without them. One in 10 patients with pressure sores dies within a month of developing the infection.

Common Causes of Bed Sores

Some of the most common causes of bedsores include:

  • Prolonged immobility: Bedsores are more likely to develop in people who are unable to move around on their own
  • Poor circulation: Circulation problems can cause bedsores due to a lack of oxygen and nutrients reaching the skin.
  • Incontinence: Where a person is unable to control their bladder or bowels, it can increase the risk of bedsores
  • Pressure: The constant pressure of lying in one position can damage the skin and lead to bedsores
  • Friction: Friction can also damage the skin and lead to bedsores
  • Moisture: Moisture like sweat, urine, or feces can make the skin more vulnerable to bedsores
  • Shearing force: Shearing force is a type of pressure that can cause bedsores. It occurs when the skin is stretched in one direction and compressed in another.

Prolonged bed rest or staying in one position for a long time can restrict blood flow. In addition, prolonged bed rest can cause significant deconditioning of the muscles.

When bedsores are left untreated, they can become infected and lead to serious health complications, including dead tissue, amputation of limbs, and even death.

Stages of Bed Sores

There are four stages of bedsores, each classified by how deep the sore goes into the skin:

  • Stage I: The first stage is a red area on the skin that may be sore or tender to the touch
  • Stage II: The second stage is an open sore that may look like a blister or abrasion. The sore may also have some crusted over material on it.
  • Stage III: The third stage is a deep sore that goes down into the muscle and bone
  • Stage IV: The fourth stage is a wound that is so deep it goes through all the layers of skin and muscle, down to the bone.

Gas gangrene (Clostridium perfringens) is a rare but serious complication of bedsores (pressure ulcers).

Limited Mobility May Result in Pressure Sores

Limited mobility, whether from age, an illness, or injury, can often lead to ulceration. Bedsores are areas of the patient's skin that become damaged due to a lack of blood circulation.

The blood flow in the affected limb is significantly decreased, leading to ulceration and then amputation.

Taking Care of Pressure Sores

Wound care and disease control are critical in preventing amputation. Also, The nursing home should keep the family informed about the resident's condition and any changes/.

Surgical debridement and skin grafting are the most common treatments for bedsores. If the blood flow to the area is cut off, amputation may be necessary. Similarly, surgical debridement may be required to remove the dead or infected tissue.

How to Prevent Bedsores From Resulting in Amputations

Bedsores are a common occurrence for bedridden people who have restricted mobility.

Measures to prevent bedsores include:

  • Regular movement and changes in position.
  • Keeping the skin clean and dry.
  • Applying a moisturizer to the skin.
  • Avoiding excessive pressure on any one area of the body.
  • Use a special mattress or cushion that helps to redistribute pressure.

When bedsore develops, it is crucial to treat it as soon as possible, including:

  • Cleaning the area with mild soap and water.
  • Applying a topical antibiotic ointment to the sore.
  • Changing the dressings regularly.
  • Take anti-inflammatory medication as needed.

If bedsore does not improve with home treatment, it is vital to see a doctor. Bedsores can often be successfully treated with medical intervention, but they can lead to severe complications, including infection and amputation if left unattended. Early diagnosis and treatment is the best way to ensure a positive outcome.

Nursing Home Patients

There are many reasons why patients may choose to go into a nursing home. Some patients may be unable to care for themselves at home anymore, including activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and using the restroom.

Other patients may have medical needs that can be better met in a nursing home.

Neglect and Nursing Home Abuse

The nursing home staff may be neglecting you if they don't keep a close eye on your bedsores. In addition, the medical care in assisted homes can be inferior, and the conditions under which residents live can be quite unsanitary.

Nursing home abuse and bedsores are often linked. When a nursing home resident is neglected and not properly cared for, they can develop bedsores.

Filing a Bed Sores Lawsuit

Did negligence cause your bedsores? If so, you may file a lawsuit against the responsible party.

To file a bedsore lawsuit, you must prove that the nursing home or caretaker was negligent in caring for you or your loved one.

Negligence can take many forms, but it typically means that the nursing home or caretaker did not provide the level of care that a reasonable person would expect.

Once you prove that the nursing home or caretaker was negligent, you may recover damages for your injuries.

Damages can include medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more. Contact our personal injury law firm today to learn more about filing a pressure sore lawsuit to create an attorney-client relationship.

Average Settlement in Bed Sore Cases

Many factors will affect the amount of any potential settlement in a bedsores case. Some of these include:

  • The severity of the bedsores
  • Who is at fault for the bedsores
  • How long it has taken to settle the case

However, on average, the settlement for bed sores cases is about $90,000.

Resolving a case at trial or accepting a settlement offer from the nursing home will likely include a "structured" settlement that gives you a certain amount of money upfront, with periodic payments over time to help cover your costs.

The Nursing Home Law Center Holds Negligent Facilities Accountable for Avoidable Pressure Sores

Negligent nursing homes can be held responsible for many injuries and fatalities, including bed sores. If you believe that your loved one was injured or killed due to nursing home negligence, our attorneys can help.

We have represented many families in nursing home pressure sore cases, and we know how to hold the responsible parties accountable.

Our lawyers have a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience resolving bedsore lawsuits to ensure the best possible outcome for their clients.

Legal Options Available to the Surviving Family Members After the Death of a Loved One Due to Bed Sores

Did a bedsore injury result in the death of a loved one? If so, you may take legal action against the person or organization responsible. You may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the party responsible for your loved one's care.

A wrongful death lawsuit can result in financial compensation for the surviving family members, which can help to cover funeral expenses and other damages.

Speak to a bedsore lawyer for legal advice if you have any questions about your legal options or must file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Hiring a Lawyer to Pursue a Pressure Sores Lawsuit

Did you or a loved one suffer from bedsores? It is crucial to seek legal help. At the law offices of Nursing Home Law Center, our personal injury attorneys can help you pursue a pressure-sore lengthy lawsuit involving a loved one.

We offer a free consultation and are available toll-free at (800) 926-7565 or via a contact form. Contact us today to find out how we can help your family navigate through a nursing home pressure ulcer lawsuit.


Client Reviews

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric