From The Mayo Clinic: Symptoms of A Pressure Sore

Learning how to spot a bedsore is the best way to help a loved one living in an elder care or rehabilitation facility.  If not treated properly, bedsores can be fatal.  At the very least they are painful and may slow the patient’s recovery process by weeks, if not months.

Furthermore, bedsores are almost always an indication of neglect from the nursing home staff.  That is why you must familiarize your self with the signs and symptoms of a bedsore so you can take immediate action in the case of nursing home abuse.

The Mayo Clinic offers the following description of pressure sores, as well as prominent areas that a bedsore may form:

Bedsores fall into one of four stages based on their severity. The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, a professional organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of pressure sores, has defined each stage as follows:

  • Stage I. Initially, a pressure sore appears as a persistent area of red skin that may itch or hurt and feel warm and spongy or firm to the touch. In blacks, Hispanics and other people with darker skin, the mark may appear to have a blue or purple cast, or look flaky or ashen. Stage I wounds are superficial and go away shortly after the pressure is relieved.
  • Stage II. At this point, some skin loss has already occurred — either in the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, in the dermis, the skin’s deeper layer, or in both. The wound is now an open sore that looks like a blister or an abrasion, and the surrounding tissues may show red or purple discoloration. If treated promptly, stage II sores usually heal fairly quickly.
  • Stage III. By the time a pressure ulcer reaches this stage, the damage has extended to the tissue below the skin, creating a deep, crater-like wound.
  • Stage IV. In the most serious and advanced stage, a large-scale loss of skin occurs, along with damage to muscle, bone, and even supporting structures such as tendons and joints. Stage IV wounds are extremely difficult to heal and can lead to lethal infections.

If you use a wheelchair, you’re most likely to develop a pressure sore on:

  • Your tailbone or buttocks
  • Your shoulder blades and spine
  • The backs of your arms and legs where they rest against the chair

When you’re bed-bound, pressure sores can occur in any of these areas:

  • The back or sides of your head
  • The rims of your ears
  • Your shoulders or shoulder blades
  • Your hipbones, lower back or tailbone
  • The backs or sides of your knees, heels, ankles and toes

Alternatively, if you have read the previous bedsore information and believe that you or a loved one may have been the victim of nursing home neglect, call (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey or (215) 567-2380 in the Philadelphia metro area.  You can also contact a nursing home abuse attorney by filing out the case evaluation form on the left side of the page. A legal professional will contact you within 12 hours to discuss your case.

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