Bed sores (also spelled bedsores) have various names. You may hear them referred to as a skin ulcer, a decubitus ulcer, a pressure ulcer, a pressure injury or pressure sores. The most important thing to understand is that bedsores are completely preventable. They result from negligent medical care.
The first sign is that the skin is discolored, reddened or darker. An African American's skin may look purple or blue and shiny. The skin may feel warm when touched and while the skin around the pressure ulcer is soft, the bedsore area feels hardened.
During the first stage, the skin ulcer is not yet an open wound. There is no break or tear in the skin.
There are four pressure injury stages. The first stage was described above. The descriptions of the other three stages are as follows:
The risk for infection is greatest at the 3rd and 4th stages. Types of infections include bone infection and sepsis (blood infection). In contrast to the earlier stages, during these 3rd and 4th stages, the patient may experience little or no pain due to the extensive tissue damage. Even so, people can die from the infections and complications that arise from bedsores in the later stages.
Bedsores are not normal or acceptable. When medical staff turns a patient frequently, changes bedding and keeps the patient’s skin clean and dry, patients do not develop pressure sores. Prevention is not difficult or complicated. It simply requires regular attention and standard follow-up.
At Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP we have access to medical experts to help us evaluate the evidence in bedsore cases. We offer a free consultation to discuss the details of the injury and can gather the necessary documentation to bring a case. In instances where the patient has died as a result of skin ulcer complications, we discuss the family member’s right to take legal action for wrongful death. We have compassion for your loss and work closely with you during the case.
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