Bed Sores And Pressure Ulcers

Bedsores — also known as pressure ulcers, pressure sores or decubitus ulcers — are nearly always preventable. These sores form from unrelieved pressure to the skin and often lead to more serious medical problems such as infections and other kinds of life-threatening injuries. And their presence on nursing home residents or hospital patients is almost always a sign of institutional negligence.

At Greene & Schultz, our attorneys are skilled in representing clients in cases involving bedsores and pressure ulcers. From our offices in Bloomington, Indiana, we help nursing home residents obtain better care and get the financial compensation they deserve for injuries they received due to the negligence of others.

How Prevalent Are Bedsores In Nursing Homes?

According to estimates from the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 10 percent of all nursing home residents have bedsores. Unfortunately, the problem isn't new — bedsores developed by nursing home patients have been an ongoing concern for decades in the United States and affect over 150,000 patients per year.

Pressure sores can be prevented by simply moving patients who sit in a chair or lie in bed for extended times on a regular and routine basis. Changing a person's position often relieves pressure before it causes sores.

Sores such as these often result from pressure to areas of the body where skin and bone are in close contact. Typically, these sores can be found on the following areas of a loved one's body:

  • Elbows
  • Heels
  • Ankles
  • Hips
  • Back

What Are The Possible Problems Stemming From Bedsores?

Bedsores may result in other serious consequences, including:

  1. Sepsis — Sepsis is the result of bacteria invading the patient's bloodstream through skin breaks, which allows bacteria to spread throughout the body. Sepsis is a fast progressing and life-threatening illness that can lead to organ failure.
  2. Bone and joint infections — Infections that begin as a pressure sore may tunnel into a victim's joints and bones. This can lead to septic arthritis (joint infections), which harms a person's tissue and cartilage. Osteomyelitis (bone infections) limits how well joints and limbs move and can lead to additional life-threatening situations.
  3. Cellulitis — Cellulitis is a disease of the skin and connective soft tissues. It results in pain, swelling and redness. People with nerve damage, such as diabetic patients with neuropathy, may not feel the pain associated with cellulitis. Left untreated, cellulitis can lead to death.
  4. Cancer — Another complication of bedsores can be cancer. What begins as a nonhealing wound (referred to as Marjolin's ulcer) can mutate into squamous cell carcinoma and require surgery.

What Do I Do If My Loved One Has Bedsores?

If you discover that a loved one is a victim of residential care abuse or neglect, immediately complain to facility management and write a letter to the facility confirming your conversation. The most important issue is ending the poor care.

If your complaint is not resolved, however, contact the law offices of Green & Schultz. Our lawyers are experienced in representing residential care patients in cases of abuse and neglect throughout Indiana and Illinois. We offer free initial consultations, and clients don't pay unless the case is won. Call us at 812-336-4357 or contact us online.