Stage 3 Pressure Ulcer

stage-three-bed-sore-nursing-home-residentNursing home residents can develop deadly Stage 3 pressure ulcers if the staff does not treat earlier-stage sores.

Pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores, are a common problem in nursing homes. These open wounds can develop into Stage 3 pressure ulcers if left untreated, leading to dangerous conditions like sepsis (blood infection) or osteomyelitis (bone infection).

Did your loved one develop preventable bedsores? Legal assistance from the nursing home lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC can help.

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Neglect and Abuse Leading to Stage 3 Pressure Injuries

The facility's staff is often overworked and understaffed, leading to neglect of nursing home residents and the development of stage 3 pressure sores. Neglecting to treat early-stage pressure ulcers can quickly lead to a severe, life-threatening wound like a Stage 3 bedsore.

Implementing an effective pressure wound prevention protocol can help nursing home staff avoid developing these dangerous sores.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), prevention is key, and that's why it's important to treat earlier-stage sores before they have a chance to develop into Stage 3 pressure wounds.

Nursing home staff members should be vigilant in checking residents for any signs of skin breakdown to avoid these serious wounds.

What Are Stage 3 Pressure Sores?

Stage 3 pressure sores are a severe progressive type of bedsore, and they can be deadly if left untreated. This type of wound can develop when an earlier-stage sore is not treated properly.

A Stage 3 bed wound is simple to diagnose because of the differing characteristics of Stage 1 and Stage 2 pressure sores. These characteristics of all four stages of a pressure injury include:

  • Stage 1 bedsore: The skin is unbroken, and there is no open wound, but there may be redness or discoloration. The area may feel warm to the touch.
  • Stage 2 bedsore: The skin breaks open, forming a blister or abrasion. The open wound may ooze clear fluid or blood.
  • Stage 3 bedsore: The open sore extends down to the fatty tissue beneath the skin and may even reach the bone. Open wounds may be crusted over or filled with pus.
  • Stage 4 pressure wound: The most serious type of bedsores, Stage 4 decubitus ulcers extend into muscle or bone and may involve tendons and joints.
  • Unstageable: Typically, an unstageable sore cannot be classified because it is too deep to accurately assess, especially when dead tissue and debris cover the wound bed and compromise fat, tissue, muscle, and bone.
  • Deep tissue injury: This deep wound develops beneath the skin's surface in the fat tissue. These wounds may not be visible at first, but they can quickly progress to a full-blown Stage 3 pressure wound with signs of infection if not treated promptly.
What Causes Stage 3 Pressure Ulcers?

Anyone in a nursing home is at risk of developing Stage 3 pressure wounds. Still, the elderly and those bedridden or who remain in the same position for longer than 90 minutes are susceptible to pressure injury and tissue damage in the various layers of tissues beneath the skin.

Stage 3 bedsores are most commonly caused by neglect or abuse in nursing homes. When the staff does not quickly identify early-stage bed sores, the nursing home residents are at risk of serious health complications that could compromise the healing process.

Common risk factors for developing Stage 3 pressure injuries include:

  • Nursing home residents who cannot move on their own are especially vulnerable to the development of progressing Stage 3 bedsores. The inability to change position doesn't relieve the pressure on their bodies to provide blood flow and nutrients to the skin and underlying tissue.
  • Incontinent residents are also at risk of developing bedsores because urine and feces can irritate the skin, making it more vulnerable to damage.

Many risk factors cause Stage 3 pressure bedsores, but the most common cause is neglect. When nursing home staff members do not properly treat an early-stage wound with the best available medical care, it can quickly progress into a Stage 3 pressure wound.

Other causes of Stage 3 pressure wounds include:

Stage 3 pressure sores commonly form on bony body areas, such as the tailbone, hips, or heels. These areas of the body are under the most pressure when a person is lying down, which can cause the development of sores.

Stage 3 pressure wounds can also form in other areas of the body:

  • Incorrect positioning: If a resident is not properly positioned, they may develop a Stage 3 pressure wound from restricted blood flow.
  • Friction: can cause the skin to break down, leading to early-stage bedsores.
  • Shear force: occurs when two surfaces rub together, causing the skin to break down.
  • Moisture: can cause the skin to break down and lead to an open wound.

Without proper treatment, earlier stage bedsores can quickly degrade to Stage 3 bed wounds, life-threatening infections, and death. Both of these forces can damage the skin and underlying tissue, leading to the development of pressure wounds.

Nursing staff should follow standard protocol when moving residents who need assistance by lifting instead of sliding them across their beds, wheelchair seats, and transfer boards.

Fatal Complications of Advanced Stage Bedsores

The chance of experiencing other problems due to infection rises dramatically as a Stage 3 pressure wound develops. Life-threatening infections can also spread to the bloodstream and other organs, which can be deadly.

Several different issues may occur, many of which can be fatal, including:

  • Amputation Infections: One of the dangers of developing a Stage 3 bedsore is the increased risk of developing an infection. If the infection spreads to the bone, it can cause the bone to die, and the limb may need to be amputated.
  • Sepsis: is a serious complication when an infection spreads throughout the body. Sepsis can cause organ failure and death.
  • Toxic shock syndrome: is a rare but potentially fatal complication of an infection. Toxic shock syndrome can cause organ failure and death.
  • Cellulitis: is a serious skin infection that can spread to the bloodstream and cause sepsis. Typically, cellulitis can lead to organ failure and death.
  • Bone Infection (Osteomyelitis): A bone infection can occur when a bedsore becomes infected. A bone infection can cause the bone to die, and the limb may need to be amputated.
  • Bloodstream Infection (Bacteremia): can occur when a Stage 3 bedsore becomes infected. A bloodstream infection can cause sepsis, leading to organ failure and death.
  • Necrotizing fasciitis: is a rare but potentially fatal complication of an infection. Necrotizing fasciitis can cause organ failure and death.
  • Myonecrosis: is a serious complication when Stage 3 bedsores become infected and cause the muscle to die, and the limb may need to be amputated.
How to Prevent a Stage 3 Pressure Sore or Deep Tissue Injury

The best way to prevent Stage 3 bedsores is to catch them early. Nursing home staff members should check residents regularly for any signs of skin breakdown. If an early-stage sore is found, it should be treated immediately to prevent it from progressing.

Implementing an effective pressure wound prevention protocol can help nursing home staff avoid developing these dangerous sores. Prevention is key, so it's important to treat early-stage sores before they have a chance to develop into Stage 3 pressure ulcers.

Nursing home staff members should be vigilant in checking residents for any signs of skin breakdown to avoid these serious wounds.

Treating Pressure Sores

Pressure ulcer management is crucial when caring for earlier stage bedsores because it can help prevent them from progressing to a more severe stage. Treating pressure sores require only health care providers with the best training to protect the nursing home resident from advancing sores that could become life-threatening.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, Stage 3 bedsores require immediate medical attention. A qualified wound care specialist should treat these bedsores and decubitus ulcers in hospitals or nursing homes.

Proper skin care can save healthy tissue and promote the healing of severe bedsores before any signs of infections appear. Stage 3 bedsores are treated with various methods, depending on the severity of the wound.

The most common treatment methods for Stage 3 sores include:

  • Debridement: This is the process of removing damaged or dead tissue from the wound edges.
  • Cleaning: The Stage 3 wound is cleaned with a sterile solution to remove bacteria or debris.
  • Dressing: The wound is then covered with a dressing to prevent further infection.
  • Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat a Stage 3 pressure wound.

Stage 3 pressure ulcers can be life-threatening, so it's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Early treatment can help prevent the ulcer from progressing and becoming more severe.

If you or a loved one has developed a Stage 3 pressure sore, contact a qualified medical professional for treatment.

Quick Remedies to Stop the Neglect That Leads to Bedsores

Bedsores are a serious health concern, and they can often be prevented with proper care. When nursing home staff fails to provide the necessary care to avoid bedsores, they may be liable for neglect.

Family members can be proactive and seek legal advice to ensure their loved one has every advantage in the healing process after neglect led to their severe bedsores.

Our lawyers can take quick action and bring in outside bedsore care specialists and the best professional medical advice to maximize health care for the nursing home resident with a Stage 3 sore by:

  • Using medical devices like a special bed mattress that alleviates pressure
  • Antibiotics to fight infection
  • Treating pressure sores with daily medical care based on the best wound care technology
Holding Health Care Providers Accountable for Stage 3 Bedsore

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), bedsores are "never events," If the nursing staff takes appropriate measures, early-stage bedsores can be stopped immediately.

Data from Johns Hopkins medicine reveals that when bedsores are neglected and progress to Stage 3, the mortality rate is as high as 30%.

The effects of a Stage 3 bedsore can be irreversible, and in some cases, the wound can become deadly. If your loved one has developed a Stage 3 bedsore, it's important to seek legal help immediately.

A qualified attorney can investigate the cause of the sore and hold the responsible party accountable. You may be entitled to compensation for your loved one's injuries, and an experienced attorney can help you recover the damages you deserve.

Stage 3 Bedsores and Wrongful Death

Unfortunately, by the time a Stage 2 bed sore progress, the wound's become significantly worse, exposing dermis tissue in a deep crater. A qualified diagnostician would categorize the wound as a Stage 3 sore.

At this stage, if the healing process is not maximized near the end of the four stages of bedsores, the outcome can be fatal.

In many cases, families lose their loved ones when the nursing staff fails to recognize signs of infection or take immediate action using the best bedsore care available.

All immediate family members whose loved ones died from deadly bedsores can receive legal compensation for their damages. Qualifying family members could include the surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, siblings, etc.

The judge would appoint one if the decedent did not decide to serve as their estate representative. The administrator or executor will be responsible for taking legal action against the at-fault party on behalf of the estate.

Available Legal Compensation in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

When someone dies due to another person's negligence, their family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This type of lawsuit can provide compensation for the surviving family members, which can help to cover:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Hospital costs
  • Loss of consortium and companionship
  • Noneconomic damages like pain, suffering, grief, and emotional anxiety
  • Punitive damages if the negligence or abuse was egregious

However, resolving wrongful death lawsuits can be complicated and often require the skills of a personal injury attorney specializing in neglect and abuse cases.

Proving Your Case

While civil tort cases provide legal solutions to injured victims and surviving families to ensure they are compensated for damages, as plaintiffs, they must prove their case, showing how the defendant is responsible for their harm.

Under civil law, the plaintiff must prove the four elements of their case by showing:

  • The defendant (negligent party) had a duty of care to the plaintiff
  • The defendant breached their duty of care
  • The plaintiff suffered an injury or loss as a result of the defendant's breach of duty
  • The plaintiff's damage or loss was reasonably foreseeable

Various methods can be used to prove that the defendant breached their duty of care and caused the plaintiff's harm, including:

  • Testimony from the plaintiff or other witnesses
  • Video or photographic evidence
  • Medical records and expert testimony
  • Law enforcement reports
Hire Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys to Resolve Your Bedsore Legal Compensation Case

Are you or a loved one the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect and developed a preventable Stage 3 bedsore? If so, you may be entitled to compensation.

The lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC have represented many clients in nursing home abuse and neglect cases and have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for their clients.

Call us now at (800) 926-7565 to schedule a free legal case review to discuss protecting your loved ones from future abuse and receiving compensation for their damages.

We accept all cases on a contingency fee basis. This agreement ensures that you will owe us nothing until we win your case through a negotiated settlement or jury award.


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