A Guide to Bedsores

If you or your loved one has become bedridden due to illness or infirmity, it is important to take steps to prevent bedsores/pressure ulcers, which are areas of broken down skin caused by pressure of lying in one spot too long without moving. Bedsores can cause severe pain and are prone to become infected. In extreme cases, the infection spreads from the skin to the blood, and the bone.
According to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel bedsores can be classified in the following manner:

  • Stage 1: Closed wound. Intact skin with redness of a localized area usually over a bony prominence.
  • Stage 2: Shallow open wound.  May also present as an intact or open/ruptured blister.
  • Stage 3: Deep wound. The wound starts looking like a tunnel or crater.  There is a loss of tissue but bone, tendon or muscle are not exposed.
  • Stage 4: Large-scale loss of tissue. The wound exposes muscle, bone, and/or tendons.
  • Unstagable: The depth and amount of tissue loss is unknown due to the amount of dead tissue obscuring the wound bed.
  • Deep Tissue Injury: Purple or maroon localized area of discolored intact skin or blood-filled blist due to damage of underlying soft tissue from pressure and/or shear.

Treating bedsores can be difficult, which is why prevention is so important. Whether your loved one is at home, or in a nursing home or hospital,  here are some tips to take to prevent problems before they start:

  • Relieve pressure on vulnerable areas. Reposition your loved one every 2 hours.
  • Use Cushions to relieve pressure. Special cushions, foam mattress pads, air-filled mattresses and water-filled mattresses can help your loved one lie in an appropriate position, relieve pressure and protect vulnerable areas from damage
  • Bed elevation. Hospital beds that can be elevated at the head should be raised no more than 30 degrees to prevent irritation.
  • Bathing. Skin should be cleaned with mild soap and warm water and gently patted dry.
  • Protecting skin. Skin that is vulnerable to excess moisture can be protected with talcum powder. Dry skin should have lotion applied.
  • Inspecting skin daily.
  • Monitor to ensure adequate nutritious intake.  Your loved one may need to increase the amount of calories, protein, vitamins and minerals in their diet. Adequate hydration assists in the ability to maintain healthy skin.

To read more about prevention of bedsores from the Mayo Clinic, click here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bedsores/DS00570/DSECTION=prevention
Can the attorneys at Edwards & Ragatz, P.A. help you with a bedsore medical malpractice claim?

If you or your loved one developed a pressure ulcer or bedsore due to the negligence of nursing home staff , hospital staff, or a caretaker, contact our Jacksonville, FL bedsore/ pressure ulcer attorneys immediately. At Edwards & Ragatz, we specialize in personal injury, medical malpractice and nursing home negligence. We have the experience and knowledge needed to bring you justice, and ensure that this same mistreatment doesn’t happen again to someone else. Contact us at (904)399-1609 or 1(800) 366-1609

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