Bed sores, also known as “pressure injuries”, form due to sustained, unrelieved pressure. When they reach advanced stages, known as “stage III” (3) or “state IV” (4), they are extraordinarily serious and can be life-threatening
How Can You Tell if a Bedsore has reached an Advanced Stage?
A stage 3 bedsore is a wound which is serious and has progressed to a dangerous point. Proper medical treatment is critical. The skin will have an open wound (a/k/a an “ulceration”) which generally extends into the fat and other subcutaneous tissues. You can see examples through a simple google search, but – be forewarned, wounds at this stage can be quite gruesome!
When a wound reaches stage 4, it has become truly life threatening. The wound will have progressed to a deep, open wound which intrudes into the body and invades the muscle. The underlying bone may even be visible. Typically, there will be substantial amounts of necrotic (dead) tissue around the wound. Patients with stage 4 wounds are at serious risk for infection and other complications. Proper medical care is critical, and some form of surgery is usually needed to care for the wound.
Question: My Family Member has a Bed Sore. What do I do?
Answer: Your first step is to seek immediate medical treatment. Whatever the circumstances, it is critical that a person with these severe wounds receives prompt medical attention.
Second, if medical attention is not immediately available, it is essential that the pressure on the wound be relieved to allow blood flow to be restored to the area. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the size of the wound is the only signal of its severity. It is possible for there to be hidden damage below the skin which has yet to erupt and show itself. As such, the wound may be much worse than it appears.
Third, ask questions. How did this happen? Who has been caring for the affected person? What has (or has not) been done for them? Remember, wounds should almost never reach a stage 3 or stage 4 if the person is receiving proper care. These wounds are not “normal”; they usually come from negligence.
There are various steps which are usually taken to prevent bed sores from forming, or to minimize the risk of progression. These steps include:
Fourth, speak to an experienced bed sore lawyer.
Considerations for Hiring an Attorney to Prosecute a Bed Sore Injury Claim:
An advanced bed sore, one that has reached stages 3 or 4, is an extraordinarily serious condition which generally only develops due to some degree of neglect or improper care. Make no mistake about it, these are dangerous wounds which can easily claim the life of the affected individual. It is generally accepted that it is much easier to prevent these wounds than it is to treat or cure them, and when they strike persons who are elderly or otherwise compromised, they are often fatal. Even under the best of circumstances, restoring health to the injured person will be very challenging.
Unfortunately, when families ask questions of the responsible care providers, they often to not receive the truth. Answers like: “it happens”, “they had a lot of health problems” or “it was unavoidable” are frequently given to explain the bed sores. However, statements like these are almost never true. Hiring an experienced bed sore lawyer is frequently the only way families can learn the truth about what happened and why. Families deserve the truth. And hiring an attorney can help to stop their loved ones from being neglected in the future and can help prevent others from suffering similar injuries and harm in the future.
The lawyers at Davis & Brusca, LLC are recognized leaders in this field and have a great deal of experience in prosecuting claims for bed sores and other serious injuries. If your loved one has suffered a stage 3 or stage 4 bed sore in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or other medical facility Davis & Brusca, LLC can help you. Call us at (609) 786-2540.
At Davis & Brusca, we concentrate our practice to nursing home neglect, elder abuse, medical malpractice and serious personal injury. We have a depth of experience and can help you find justice and recover financial compensation for these terrible injuries. Call us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your claim and learn the options available to you.