Sacral wound – A pressure sore that has developed on the persons sacrum or buttocks area. Pressure sores on the sacrum are one of the most common areas for wounds to develop particularly in bed-bound patients where a large amount of pressure and friction are put on the sacral area.
Sacrum – A bone in the shape of a triangle where the spine and pelvic cavity meet at the back, it is between the two hips.
Salmonella – A bacteria that is one of the most common bacteria in foodborne illneses. It causes intestinal infections. See more here.
Scabies – Highly contagious disease of the skin that is caused by tiny mites.
Scald – To burn or injure with hot liquid or steam.
Second degree burn – A burn that results in redness, pain, swelling and blisters. They burn both the outer-layer and under lying layer of skin.
Secondary authority – Legal encyclopedias, treatises, legal texts, law review articles, and citators. Writings which set forth the opinion of the writer as to the law.
Sepsis – Sepsis is a bacterial infection in the bloodstream or body tissues. This is a very broad term covering the presence of many types of microscopic disease-causing organisms. Sepsis can develop in patients with advanced pressure ulcers (also called: bed sores, pressure sores or decubitus ulcers). Approximately 55% of people who develop sepsis die from related complications every year.
Service of process – The delivering of writs, summonses, and subpoenas by delivering them to the party named in the document. Also referred to as “service.”
Settlement – An agreement between the parties disposing of a lawsuit.
Sexual abuse – Sexual abuse is any contact or interaction (physical, visual, verbal or psychological) between a child/adolescent and an adult when the child/adolescent is being used for the sexual stimulation of the perpetrator or any other person.
Sexual assault – Sexual assault can be defined as any unwanted touching of a persons body with the intent to sexually gratify the assailant without consent. Sexual assault many take many forms including attacks such as rape or attempted rape, as well as any unwanted sexual contact or threats. . Some types of sexual acts which fall under the category of sexual assault include forced sexual intercourse (rape), sodomy (oral or anal sexual acts), child molestation, incest, fondling and attempted rape.
Sexual elder abuse – Involuntary touching of the genitals, breasts, anus against or without the persons consent to gratify the desire of the perpetrator. Examples of sexual elder abuse include: rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment or sexual coercion.
Shigella – A foodborne, waterborne or person to person contacted bacteria that causes diarrhea and dysentery to those affected.
Skilled nursing facility – A skilled nursing facility (SNF) is an entity certified by Medicare to provide services to patients a combination of nursing and rehabilitative services. Commonly referred to as nursing homes.
Skin graft – A piece of skin that is surgically moved from one area of the body and attached to another area.
Social Security – A system of federal old-age pensions for employed persons begun in 1935. A portion of the payment is deducted from the employee’s salary and an equal portion is contributed by the employer.
Social Security Administration – The federal agency, which administers the national social security program.
Sovereign Immunity – The doctrine that the government, state or federal, is immune to lawsuit unless it give its consent.
Special focus facility – A government developed program to monitor poorly performing nursing homes that have a pattern of chronic non-compliance with federal law and facilities that potentially post a threat to patient safety. See more here.
Spend down – A provision in Medicare and Medicaid programs that an individual use up their personal assets to meet eligibility requirements.
Squamos carcinoma – A cancer of the skin that initially looks like a bump or red and scaly patch of skin. It usually appears on badly sun burned, fair skin and is often found on the rim of the ear, face and lips.
Stage 1 Bedsore – Changes in skin temperature (warmth or coolness), tissue consistency (firm or boggy feel), and/or sensation (pain, itching). The ulcer is a defined area of persistent redness in lightly pigmented skin. In darker skin tones, the ulcer may appear with persistent red, blue, or purple hues. Stage 1 bedsores are a warning to caregivers and/or family members, because bedsores develop quickly and progress rapidly. (Similarly referred to as: stage 1 pressure sore, stage 1 pressure ulcer or stage 1 decubitus ulcer)
Stage 2 Bedsore – Partial thickness skin loss involving epidermis (top layer of skin), dermis, or both. The ulcer is superficial and looks like an abrasion, blister, or shallow crater at this stage. Once a bedsore gets past this stage it becomes much harder to treat. (Similarly referred to as: stage 2 pressure sore, stage 2 pressure ulcer or stage 2 decubitus ulcer)
Stage 3 Bedsore – Full thickness skin loss involving damage to, or death of, the subcutaneous tissue that may extend down to, but not through, underlying connective tissue. The wound will look like a fairly deep crater, black at its edges. Stage 3 bedsores are powerfully sad and visually disgusting. (Similarly referred to as: stage 3 pressure sore, stage 3 pressure ulcer or stage 3 decubitus ulcer)
Stage 4 Bedsore – Full thickness skin loss with extensive destruction, tissue death, and/or damage to muscle, bone, or supporting structures (tendon, joint, capsule). They will look like a large, deep, open wound revealing bone and connective tissue. Warning, a stage four bedsore is extremely disturbing to see. (Similarly referred to as: stage 4 pressure sore, stage 4 pressure ulcer or stage 4 decubitus ulcer)
Standard of proof – Indicates the degree to which the point must be proven. In a civil case, the burden of proof rests with the plaintiff, who must establish his or her case by such standards of proof as a “preponderance of evidence” or “clear and convincing evidence.” (See burden of proof.)
Standing – The legal right to bring a lawsuit. Only a person with something at stake has standing to bring a lawsuit.
Starvation – Starvation is the result of a severe or total lack of nutrients needed for the maintenance of life.
Statute – Legislative enactment; it may be a single act of a legislature or a body of acts which are collected and arranged for a session of a legislature. (See statutory law.)
Statute of limitations – statute of limitations is a law, which places a time limit on pursuing a legal remedy in relation to wrongful, conduct. After the expiration of the statutory period, unless a legal exception applies, the injured person loses the right to file a lawsuit seeking money damages or other relief.
Statutory – Relating to a statute; created or defined by a law.
Stay – A court order halting a judicial proceeding.
Stevens Johnson Syndrome – A very severe skin disease that is potentially deadly that is the result of a drug interaction that can cause severe pain. Read more about this condition here.
Stipulation – An agreement between the parties involved in a suit regulating matters incidental to trial.
Strict liability – Concept applied by the courts in product liability cases that when a manufacturer presents his goods for public sale, he is representing that they are suitable for their intended use.
Sub-acute care – Medical care provided to a patient in their home or in a skilled nursing facility after a hospitalization to stabilize their condition. Examples of sub-acute care include: ventilator care or dialysis.
Subdural hematoma – A subdural hematoma is a collection of blood on the surface of the brain. Subdural hematomas are usually the result of a serious head injury. Acute subdural hematomas are among the deadliest of all head injuries. The bleeding fills the brain area very rapidly, compressing brain tissue. This often results in brain injury or death.
Substantive law – The statutory or written law that governs rights and obligations of those who are subject to it.
Suffocation – The deprivation of oxygen.
Summary judgment – A judgment given on the basis of pleadings, affidavits, and exhibits presented for the record without any need for a trial. It is used when there is no dispute as to the facts of the case and one party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.
Summons – Instrument used to commence a civil action or special proceeding; the means of acquiring jurisdiction over a party.
Surgical complications – Any outcome that is negative after a surgical procedure that is perceived by the patient or the surgeon.
Surgical debridement – The use of a a surgical tool to cut the dead tissue from a wound to clean it out. For information about the sugical debridement of bed sores, look here.
Suspension – A temporary loss of the right to practice law by an attorney. (See disbarment or censure.)
Sustain – A court ruling upholding an objection or a motion.