Bedsore Pressure Sore Fact Sheet
What is a Bed Sore or Pressure Sore?
Bedsores (also known as Pressure Sores) are areas of damage to the skin and underlying tissue which develops due to prolonged pressure or friction on vulnerable areas of the body. Typical areas include, the tail bone, sacrum, hips, heels and elbows.
Grades or Stages of Bed SoresStage 1
The skin is not yet broken.
The skin appears red or discolored.
The skin doesn't blanch when touched.
The site may be tender, painful, firm, soft, warm or cool compared with the surrounding skin.
At stage II:
The outer layer of skin (epidermis) and part of the underlying layer of skin (dermis) is damaged or lost.
The wound may be shallow and pinkish or red.
The wound may look like a fluid-filled blister or a ruptured blister.
It will be very painful to the touch and difficult to keep clean.
At stage III, the ulcer is a deep wound:
The loss of skin usually exposes some fat.
The ulcer looks crater-like.
The bottom of the wound may have some yellowish dead tissue.
The damage may extend beyond the primary wound below layers of healthy skin.
Patient will experience extreme pain to the site and areas around the site.
A stage IV ulcer shows large-scale loss of tissue:
The wound may expose muscle, bone or tendons.
The bottom of the wound likely contains dead tissue that's yellowish or dark and crusty.
The damage often extends beyond the primary wound below layers of healthy skin.
Damage may extend to joint, tendon and bone.
Complications of Pressure SoresBedsores with red irritated skin left untreated will breakdown, leading to tissue death, then the skin will break open and become infected, and ultimately and tragically leading to death in some cases. Bedsores can also trigger other ailments, such as:
obladder distension (inability to urinate)
oabscess (collection of pus in the skin and tissue)
osepsis (a build up of bacteria entering the bloodstream and can be fatal)
oanemia (lack of red blood cells)
Risk FactorsPressure sores and bed sores are caused by constant pressure being applied to a particular area of skin over a sustained period of time. The skin of older and weaker people tends to be thinner which means they are at an increased risk if confined to a chair or bed for a prolonged stay.
Areas at most RiskPeople confined to a bed or chair are likely to develop sores in the following areas:
Prevention of Pressure SoresThose in the position or capacity of caring for someone who is confined to a chair or bed for any period of time, should be aware that there is a risk of pressure sores. Relieving pressure by reducing the amount of time that the pressure is applied to that area is paramount. There must be a plan that includes the following:
oregular checks for any warning signs
oproper dietary and hygiene habits
Treating Pressure SoresTreatment from the onset of pressure sores is critical. If treatment can begin during the initial stage, there is a great change that it will not advance further and develop into a potential life threatening situation.
ospecial cushions, bedding or mattresses that help reduce pressure
odressings and bandages on the affected areas
oregular and thorough cleaning of damaged areas
olotions, medications or creams to help any damage to the skin
osurgery, if necessary
Where to Get HelpIf your loved one is in a place where they are suffering from bed sores or pressure sores, reach out to your own doctor. If the wound is severe, you may need to get the patient to the hospital for immediate care and treatment.
Legal OptionsThere are Federal and State laws to protect patients at hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities. A victim or family may initiate a lawsuit. There are a variety of causes of action to pursue a lawsuit, including post-mortem, based upon negligent acts and omissions, nursing home abuse and neglect, wrongful death and/or medical malpractice.
For More Information on Bed Sores or Pressure Sores, Contact Us Online Here
David S. Crawford, Esq., www.legalpatriot.com