Those within the nursing home industry understand that bedsores, also known as decubitus ulcers or pressure ulcers, are one of the most serious injuries suffered by nursing home residents. You should understand that pressure ulcers are avoidable. And without proper care, pressure ulcers can kill.
The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Board (“NPUAP”) categorizes pressure ulcers as follows:
Pressure sores are grouped by their severity. Stage I is the earliest stage. Stage IV is the worst.
- Stage I: A reddened area on the skin that, when pressed, does not turn white. This is a sign that a pressure ulcer is starting to develop.
- Stage II: The skin blisters or forms an open sore. The area around the sore may be red and irritated.
- Stage III: The skin now develops an open, sunken hole called a crater. There is damage to the tissue below the skin.
- Stage IV: The pressure ulcer has become so deep that there is damage to the muscle and bone, and sometimes to tendons and joints.
Pressure sores are unstageable when the tissue at the base of the ulcer is covered by dead skin that is yellow, tan, green, or brown.
Pressure ulcer injuries to Rhode Island and Massachusetts nursing home patients (where we practice law) are absolutely avoidable with proper care. Particularly for people confined to a bed, lying in one position can cause sores and ulcers because of sustained pressure on the skin that cuts off the blood flow. When skin does not have proper oxygen it can die. Our firm handles Rhode Island nursing home abuse cases, including cases involving neglect from pressure ulcers. These cases require expert witness testimony. The applicable standard of care is based on federal law. The Nursing Home Reform Act (“OBRA”) provides rules that bursting facilities must follow. OBRA was passed in response to a Congressional study demonstrating the poor quality of care in too many nursing homes in the United States. The Act requires that residents of nursing homes receive quality care resulting in their highest practicable physical, mental and psychosocial well-being. Our firm is familiar with specific rules that govern the care for pressure ulcers. For example, proper care includes ensuring frequent repositioning, proper nutrition, and the use of special medications and medical devices.
Our RI personal injury lawyers can help review suspected nursing home neglect including in the area of pressure ulcers.