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an elderly woman in a hospital bed

What Causes Bedsores?

Bedsores are a common, yet entirely preventable, issue that often arises from nursing home neglect. The medical community refers to bedsores as “never events” because—with proper care and attention from nursing home staff, they should never happen.

Below, our Baltimore attorneys explain what causes bedsores and what you can do if your relative has suffered from one.

Bedsores Are Preventable

Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, develop after long-term pressure is exerted on one part of the body. These wounds most commonly develop on the hips, back, and other areas subject to pressure when lying down for a long time. Individuals most likely to experience bedsores are those suffering from a coma, paralysis, or another medical condition that requires long-term bed rest.

Individuals confined to a bed for a long period of time must be moved or turned frequently in order to prevent bedsores from forming. This is one of the essential duties of nursing home staff, since many of the people in their care spend much of their time in bed.

Failure to fulfill this responsibility, whether intentionally or unintentionally, is considered nursing home neglect. Such negligence may cause a bedsore to progress into later stages, at which point it becomes harder to treat. The four stages of a bedsore include the following:

  • Stage I: At this stage, the bedsore only affects the upper layer of skin and appears red and inflamed.

  • Stage II: At this stage, the bedsore digs deeper below the skin’s surface and, without immediate treatment, can take three weeks to heal.

  • Stage III: At this stage, the bedsore has delved into the fat layer beneath the skin tissues. These sores typically require antibiotics and up to four months of healing.

  • Stage IV: At this stage, the bedsore affects the muscles and ligaments underneath the body’s fat layer and may even damage bone. A bedsore at this stage can take over a year to heal and requires immediate emergency treatment.

the four stages of a bedsore

Infographic Credit: ©1996–2020 Healthwise, Incorporated

Did Your Relative Suffer from a Bedsore While in a Nursing Home? Contact Us Today

Because bedsores are entirely preventable, the presence of one essentially serves as proof of a nursing home’s negligence. If your loved one suffered from a bedsore while in a nursing home, contact our team today for experienced legal representation. Such negligence cannot go unaddressed.

Contact Brown & Barron, LLC today at (410) 698-1717 to schedule a free consultation.

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