Bed sores are a common injury suffered by the elderly. In many cases, these develop while the elderly person is residing in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Contact us at The Peck Law Group today to learn more about your legal rights if you or a loved one has suffered a bed sore injury.
Bed sores are also commonly referred to as pressure sores. These sores are also referred to as decubitus ulcers by many medical professionals.
These sores can manifest as a mind pink coloration of the skin, which goes away within a few hours after the pressure has been relieved on that area of the skin. They can also appear as a deep wound that can extend all the way to (and in some cases, through) the bone and into internal organs.
Bed sores, like many other wound types, are classified in stages according to how severe the wound is. Pressure sores and bed sores have a course of injury that is similar to that of a burn wound. The sores can present with mild skin redness and/or blistering of the skin, like a first-degree burn. They can also present as a deep open wound with damaged, blackened tissue, like a third-degree burn. This damaged, blackened skin tissue is called eschar.
A bed sore is formed as a result of pressure. Another way it can occur is through friction, when the injured body part is rubbed against something like a brace, cast, or even bed sheet. Bed sores can also occur due to prolonged exposure to cold. Areas of the body with tissue that lies just over a bone are more likely to develop a bed sore, pressure sore, or decubitus ulcer. Some of these areas include the coccyx or tailbone, spine, hips, elbows, and heels.
When the weight of a person’s body presses down on the bone, the bone then presses onto the tissue and the skin covering it. The tissue then becomes trapped between the bone structure and the wheelchair surface or bed. After this occurs, then the tissue starts to decay from the lack of blood circulation. This is the basic method of formulation for bed sores.
In order to prevent bed sores, it is recommended that you change your position at least every two hours. Sometimes, the needs of the individual require a more frequent schedule. The two-hour time frame is the generally accepted standard of care time frame that the tissue is able to tolerate pressure without damage. Other methods of prevention include padding to prevent tissue abrasion and maintaining nutrition, hygiene, and hydration.
There are also medical devices that can be used to help prevent the development of bed sores. Many insurance policies will cover any required device, material, or equipment that is needed in order to prevent and treat decubitus ulcers, bed sores, and pressure sores.
Prevention, which means caring, watching, and taking the time to make sure that decubitus ulcers, bed sores, and pressure sores do not develop is the best-case scenario for the elderly patient.
With multiple offices throughout California, The Peck Law Group’s bed sore attorneys can you assist you with your case throughout California including (but not limited to):
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