What is a Decubitus Ulcer? Decubitus Ulcer Definition

So what is a decubitus ulcer? Decubitus ulcer (di-ˈkyü-bə-təs ˈəlsər) is defined as: A lesion in the skin caused by a nursing home resident or hospital patient staying in the same position for too long. Also known as a bedsore or a pressure ulcer.

What is a Decubitus Ulcer? And Why do Decubitus Ulcers Occur?

Often times, elderly nursing home residents are unable to move and shift pressure in their beds or wheelchairs. This leads to prolonged pressure on a certain area of the patient’s body which results in decreased blood flow to the effected area. As a result of the interruption of blood flow, the skin falls apart and a decubitus ulcer forms. For example, if a patient is left in a wheelchair for too long, the pressure may result in a coccyx decubitus ulcer. Or if a patient is left in bed too long, a sacral decubitus ulcer may develop. It is the duty of the hospital staff or nursing home CNA’s to come and rotate the patient every two hours. This is why we put our loved ones in 24-hour care facilities. When medical providers are afraid to tell family members their loved ones developed pressure sores due to staff neglect, they “hide” the neglect by using the technical medical term; “decubitus ulcer”. This explains why you may be searching the internet for “What is a decubitus ulcer?”

If patient turning and repositioning is not done, nursing home residents and hospital patients will develop painful decubitus ulcers (pressure wounds). These deep, open wounds are a gateway to disease and infection (like sepsis, MRSA, gangrene, bacteria, herpes, osteomyelitis, cellulitis, bacteremia), commonly leading to arm/leg amputation, bone infections, blood infections and even death. Decubitus ulcer symptoms of bedsore infection include fever, pain, redness, swelling, warmth of the area, and purulent discharge. Infected pressure sores also have a gangrenous smell, are discolored, and may eventually exude pus.

Why do decubitus ulcers occur? What is a decubitus ulcer?

This decubitus ulcer photograph shows a Stage 4 decubitus ulcer

Now that you know what a decubitus ulcer is and why they occur, it is important to be able to accurately identify a wound. Decubitus Ulcers are staged from 1 to 4, with a Stage 1 being a red blister and a Stage 4 being a deep open wound where the bone may be visible. For an in depth discussion of decubitus ulcer staging, click here.

Remember, there is usually no excuse for decubitus ulcer formation. The fact that a pressure sore is present on a nursing home resident or hospital patient usually means the patient was left in bed or a wheelchair for too long. Decubitus Ulcers are a sign of nursing home neglect. The only way to end the cycle of elderly patient neglect is to do something about it. If you have any questions about a Pressure Sore lawsuit, please fill out the case evaluator to your right.

Why do Decubitus Ulcers Occur?

Decubitus ulcer definition

As decubitus ulcer lawyers, we may be able to answer your questions like what is a decubitus ulcer and why it occurred in your case. If you or a loved one developed a bedsore in a nursing home, hospital or assisted living facility, call 561-316-7207 to speak with a qualified patient neglect attorney.

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