Assessing Bedsores in Washington DC Nursing Home Abuse Cases

In a well-run nursing home facility, bedsores should prove a rarity. If they do occur, a good nursing home recognizes and treats a bedsore at the earliest stage so that it may heal properly, thereby minimizing damage to the patient.

When a bedsore progresses beyond the early stage, an infection may set in, leading to bone death and the need for surgery. In a worst-case scenario, the patient may face amputation of an affected limb, or the bedsore could prove fatal.

Assessing bedsores in Washington DC nursing home abuse cases according to a formal score can help establish the facility was negligent in patient care. Reach out to a dedicated bedsores lawyer today.

Bedsore Development

Bedsores – also known by the terms pressure ulcers, pressure sores or decubitus ulcers – form when a person cannot move and is not moved regularly by medical personnel, such as nursing home staff. If the blood supply to the skin is cut off for more than two hours, a bedsore may start to form. Not only can untreated bedsore extend deeply into the body, but they are difficult to heal. For more information about assessing bedsores in Washington DC nursing home abuse cases, consult with a knowledgeable lawyer.

Vulnerable Populations

Elderly and/or frail people with thin skin are most likely to develop bedsores. Those living in nursing homes who are immobile, unconscious, or limited in movement and reliant on wheelchairs are most likely to experience bedsores if they are not turned and moved every few hours. Skilled nursing home staff should inspect a patient’s skin daily to check for signs of bedsore development. Additional risk factors for bedsore occurrence include:

  • Diabetes
  • Circulatory problems
  • Malnutrition
  • Continence issues
  • Overweight or underweight

Bedsores most often form on bony areas without a lot of fat, and in areas under pressure because the patient is immobile or not able to sense pain. The most common locations for bedsores include:

  • Hips
  • Tailbone
  • Lower back
  • Buttocks
  • Shoulder blades
  • Back of the head
  • Heels
  • Knees

Four Stages of Bedsores

The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) updated the staging system for pressure ulcers in 2016. The four stages, listed in order of severity from mild to severe, include:

  • Stage 1 – Non-blanchable erythema of intact skin – The skin may appear discolored, but is not purple or maroon. The patient may experience sensation changes, heat in the affected area and changes in skin firmness. There is no open wound.
  • Stage 2 – Partial-thickness skin loss with exposed dermis – The wound is red and moist, with intact or ruptured blisters appearing. Fat and other tissues are not yet visible in the pressure ulcer.
  • Stage 3 – Full-thickness skin loss – Skin is lost on the wound, and fat is visible. Granulation is common along the wound edges, and skin may slough off. The depth of the bedsore depends on the area, and tunnels or craters may appear. At this stage, bone, cartilage, muscle, tendons, ligaments, and fascia are not yet exposed.
  • Stage 4 – Obscured full-thickness skin and tissue loss – At this point, the bone, muscle, cartilage, tendons, ligaments or fascia are exposed.

Speak with a DC Lawyer About Assessing Bedsores in Nursing Home Abuse Cases

If you or a loved one has developed bedsores because of nursing home negligence or abuse, you need the services of an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer. Call us today to arrange a free consultation about assessing bedsores in Washington DC nursing home abuse cases. We fight hard for your rights so that you may obtain the compensation you deserve for the nursing home neglect leading to bedsores.