Holding Care Givers Accountable When Patients Develop Pressure Sores
Pressure sores, also known as bedsores, pressure ulcers and decubitus ulcers, cause pain and suffering that is easily avoidable. People develop pressure sores because they’re not getting the care they need. 30 years ago, pressure sores were not a widespread problem in hospitals, nursing homes or other care facilities. Pressure sores are mainly an issue today because facilities are understaffed, and people don’t hold them accountable.
Pressure Sores Are Preventable When Proper Care Is Given
Medicare describes pressure sores as a “never event.” This means the only reason pressure sores develop is poor or negligent medical care. Preventing pressure sores is as easy as rotating patients every two hours. It does not require any specialized knowledge or training, simply adequate staffing. When a patient develops a pressure sore, the root cause is almost always a health care facility prioritizing profits over patient care.
The Four Stages Of Pressure Sores
Pressure sores are broken into four stages based on how advanced it has become. These stages are used to determine the type of treatment required. Pressure sores that reach stage one or two are not usually reported to the department of health. When bedsores reach stage three, reporting the event is mandatory.
At stage one, pressure sores are a simple irritation of the skin that exits on and near the surface of the skin. They usually appear as a small red dot. While these can be painful, they are easy to treat and usually heal quickly.
At stage two, the bedsore opens and looks like a blister or scrape. Caught early, stage two pressure sores are easy to treat and don not have any long-term effects.
If a bedsore reaches stage three, it becomes more concerning. This stage is characterized by a deeper wound that extends into the fat under the skin. Patients with a stage three bedsore are at great risk for infection and other serious health risks. Outside specialized wound care teams are often called in when a bedsore reaches stage three.
When a bedsore advances to stage four, it is a major health risk to the patient. At this stage, it has become a deep wound that can reach muscles, tendons and bones. The patient is at risk for life-threatening illnesses such as sepsis, MRSA infection, septic arthritis and osteomyelitis.
If your loved one suffered a debilitating bedsore, you need to act now. We can help you make sure proper care is given and hold the health care provider accountable.