Bed Sore Causes and Treatments

Bed Sore Causes

Bed sores form on bony prominences

Bed sores are medically known as decubitus ulcers. Common questions include, “What causes bed sores?” “Can bed sores kill you?” “Why do bed sores form?” and “How can I treat bed sores?”

1) What causes a decubitus ulcer (bed sore)? 

2) Bed Sore Stages

3) Photos of Bed Sores

3) Bed Sore Treatment

4) Prevention of Bedsores

5) Bed Sore Lawsuit Info

Bed Sore General Information

We have all heard the term “bed sore” or “pressure sore”, but we usually do not learn about the gravity of the health risks associated with open wounds until it is too late. Sadly, healthcare workers tend to minimize pressure wounds until they pose a dangerous threat to the patient’s life. This is because these kinds of wounds are never supposed to occur according to the US government and Medicare. Nurses and CNAs are held responsible when bed sores form under their watch. Accordingly, in an effort to avoid liability, nurses may conceal or minimize pressure sores to the patient’s family members. This is unacceptable and a violation of the law on bed sores. If you’ve discovered a wound on your loved one, make sure to report it up the chain of command at the healthcare facility. Tell the doctors on your patient’s case. If the wound is bad enough, ask if the patient needs to go to the hospital. If the bed sore causes serious injury or death, do not let the responsible parties go unpunished. Speak with a lawyer about your rights in filing a neglect lawsuit.

What Causes a Bed Sore?

Bed sores are caused by unrelieved pressure on a certain area of the body. It’s that simple. Bed sores

Causes of Bed Sores

Unrelieved pressure causes bed sores

typically form on bony prominences. For example, if a patient is left in bed for hours at a time and is unable to move themselves, this will likely cause a bed sore on their coccyx or sacrum. Wounds caused by patient immobility are not excusable. In fact, this is precisely why patients who cannot reposition themselves are placed in nursing homes, ALFs and hospitals. It is the duty of the nurse, CNA or home health aid who is tasked with caring for the patient to turn and reposition the patient at least every 2 hours. Failing to reposition the patient in bed causes skin breakdown.  Once the skin is open, failing to keep the patient clean can cause exacerbation of the wound. That is why patients who suffer incontinence often develop skin issues. It is the task of the caretaker to ensure that an incontinent patient stays dry and clean in the effected area. For more information on bed sore causes, please click this link.

Bed Sore Treatment: How do you get rid of bed sores?

Treatment for open wounds is not always easy, nor is it a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Treating existing wounds can become difficult if the patient has diabetes or some other wound-healing disease. Healing can be complicated if the bed sore is a Stage 3 or 4, or if the patient is dehydrated and malnourished. It is important that the patient be in the best health possible before trying to heal the existing skin breakdown. You should speak with a specialized wound care doctor about your individual case. If the doctor deems it necessary, your loved one may receive surgical debridements, a wound vac, dressing changes or even plastic surgery to close the wound. It really all depends on the size and severity of the pressure wound.

So What Do I Do Now?

If you have the unfortunate reality of finding a wound on your family member, make sure they receive prompt medical attention. Your first priority should be to heal the wound, or at least try to contain it. A significant wound, like a Stage 4, can cause infection and death. Once you are confident your family member is in good hands, you should demand answers. Speak with a bed sore lawyer about investigating a lawsuit, or call 561-316-7207 for a free bed sore case evaluation. Do not let the cycle of elder abuse continue without interruption. Your attorney will order the relevant medical records so that you can get the answers you deserve and the justice the law provides. Your potential claim for damages is subject to a statute of limitations period, which means you only have a certain time window in which to bring you case. Do not delay; speak with a lawyer now to learn of your rights in pursing a decubitus ulcer lawsuit.

Bed sores are graded by stages. This bed sore stage photo shows bed sores stage 1 - 4.

Bed sores are graded by stages. This bed sore photo shows bed sores stage 1 – 4.

More Questions?

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Do You Have a Case?

Do You Have a Case?