Diabetic Ulcers vs. Pressure Sores – What’s the Difference?

A pressure sore (bedsore) is a wound that develops on bony prominences due to unrelieved pressure, i.e. a failure of nurses to turn and reposition the patient. A diabetic ulcer, commonly found on the foot or heel, is another type of chronic wound that develops due to poor blood flow and circulation, secondary to diabetes. While diabetic ulcers are brought about due to vascular problems, a diabetic ulcer can also be caused by unrelieved pressure. The two types of wounds can be brought about by overlapping causes, namely unrelieved pressure relief in bed due to patient neglect.

Decubitus ulcers form in the following spots on a patient's body

Decubitus ulcers form in the following spots on a patient’s body

 Diabetic Ulcers as a Cover Up for Patient Neglect and Bedsores

A lot of times, a nursing home or hospital will neglect their patient. As a result, the patient will lie in bed for long periods of time and develop skin breakdown in the form of pressure sores. Hospitals and nursing homes are legally required to share the patient’s deteriorating health condition with the health care surrogate and/or family member(s). Because of this legal duty, nurses at the nursing home or hospital may tell the family that these wounds/sores were “unavoidable” or “expected” because they are diabetic wounds. Many times, these are actually bedsores that developed due to patient neglect. As opposed to calling this skin breakdown a bedsore, staff will describe it as a “diabetic ulcer” in an attempt to avoid liability for the preventable pressure sore.

If you or a loved one developed diabetic wounds or pressure sores while in a nursing home or hospital, have your potential elder abuse case investigated by a medical malpractice attorney. Contact 561-316-7207 consultation.


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