As a New Jersey and Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawfirm, we think it is important to advocate for people and families who have suffered from horrible bedsores and pressure ulcers caused by nursing home abuse. In a previous post, we reviewed the bedsore and pressure ulcer classification scale which has been established by the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP). We also reviewed for you the first stage in the evolution of a pressure ulcer – stage I. In this post, we will cover the secondary evolution of a pressure ulcer or a bedsore – stage II.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Protect Bedsore Victims
Hopefully, a Stage I bedsore can be promptly treated by nursing home medical staff to prevent its progression to Stage II. However, because many staff in nursing homes are poorly trained, overworked, and underpaid, many patients with a Stage I pressure ulcer will develop a Stage II pressure ulcer. We believe this development is a direct result of nursing home neglect. That is, if medical personnel and nursing home staff are doing their jobs, a Stage II bedsore should not develop.
According to the NPUAP, a Stage II bedsore is defined as
Partial thickness loss of dermis presenting as a shallow open ulcer with a red pink wound bed, without slough. May also present as an intact or open/ ruptured serum filled blister.
In addition, a Stage II bedsore or pressure ulcer is further described as presenting as a shiny or dry shallow ulcer without slough or bruising.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Urge Bedsore Prevention
As a nursing home abuse lawyer, only a small amount of my cases involve Stage II pressure ulcers. When called in to investigate a nursing home abuse case involving a patient with a Stage II pressure ulcer or bedsore, I typically find that the Stage II ulcer was completely preventable and avoidable with good and proper care. Fortunately, there are some basic and well-recognized treatment care plans which will significantly reduce the risk of a Stage II pressure ulcer developing into a Stage III. Those treatment options include,
- Regular and proper dressing changes to observe the pressure ulcer for any change or signs or symptoms of infection;
- Referral of all patients with a pressure ulcer to a dietician to ensure proper nutrition, vitamins and supplements to improve healing;
- Provision of proper support surfaces, such as replacing existing mattresses with a support surface that provides better pressure redistribution, sheer reduction, and a microclimate control of the patient.
- Provision of positioning devices and incontinence pads that are compatible with the support surfaces which can encourage and improve offloading of weight on the Stage II pressure ulcer.
- Turning and repositioning frequency to continuously monitor the Stage III ulcer and, to reduce friction, pressure and sheer on the Stage II ulcer;
- Adequate transfer aids to reduce friction and sheer while patients are repositioning. These aids, should permit the patient to be lifted, not dragged while repositioning.
- Use of a pressure redistribution cushion in a chair for individuals who are able to ambulate in a wheelchair.
- Finally, and perhaps most importantly, repositioning of the patient is positioned to be off of the bedsore area.
All of these interventions, and more, have long been part of the standard of care for nursing homes. Unfortunately, many nursing home staff have not been adequately trained to employ these interventions and they are not utilized in patient care. The failure to employ well-known and effective medical interventions to a person in a nursing home, is nursing home abuse.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia
If you or a loved one have suffered from a bedsore or pressure ulcer in a nursing home or long term care facility, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. The nursing home abuse lawyers at the Mininno Law Office are experienced and skilled in holding negligent nursing homes responsible for harming their residents. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadlephia.
Let the Mininno Law Ofice team earn you the full and fair compensation that you need and deserve.