Decubitus Ulcers, Pressure Sores and Poor Blood Circulation

It is no secret that poor blood flow and circulation problems can cause skin breakdown. The link between blood circulation and decubitus ulcer (bedsore) formation is well documented in medical literature. The reason a lack of blood flow can lead to pressure sores is simple. A patient with bad circulation problems does not get the necessary blood flow to all areas of the body. The lack of blood to a certain area causes that area of skin to die. The death of the skin tissue leads to a deep tissue injury that occurs underneath the skin. This deep tissue wound then opens up into a pressure ulcer.

Skin Breakdown from Circulatory Problems

Poor blood flow can lead to pressure sores, but it does not excuse their development and deterioration.

If My Loved One Has Circulation Issues, Is That an Excuse for a Decubitus Ulcer Forming?

Decubitus ulcers are considered a never event in medicine. This means, these kinds of pressure sores should never occur. Typically, a decubitus ulcer forming in a nursing home or hospital is a sign of neglect. If the patient has bad blood flow or circulation problems, the facility may claim the pressure sore was ‘unavoidable’. You should not buy into this logic without investigating the issue. Circulatory problems certainly put a patient at a higher risk for skin breakdown. However, nursing homes and hospitals know this. Nurses actually grade incoming patients for risk of pressure sore development. Hospitals and nursing homes are supposed to take additional pressure sore preventative measures in order to prevent a decubitus wound from forming. Simply because someone has circulation issues does not excuse them to neglect the patient and allow bedsores to develop. Driving your car on a two lane highway at night certainly puts you at a much higher risk for a car accident. But if the oncoming driver drifts into your lane and hits you head on, your elevated risk for the accident does not excuse his negligence in drifting into your lane.

Bad Circulation and Pressure Sores: Now What

Report Pressure Ulcers

Protect our elders. Report decubitus ulcer development, even if they have blood flow disease.

You or your family member now have an open pressure sore. The nursing home or hospital staff is saying its due to circulation problems, diabetes, PVD, etc. What can you do to investigate the truth?

  1. File a Complaint with your state elder abuse agency. Contact us if you need help finding the proper agency to report the potential neglect.
  2. Take photographs of the decubitus ulcer, so that you can determine its stage.
  3. Call us at 561-316-7207 to discuss your potential decubitus ulcer claim.

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