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Osteomyelitis Resulting from Bed Sores

Osteomyelitis Resulting from Bed Sores

If not prevented in time, bed sores may lead to osteomyelitis, a rare bone condition. Typically diagnosed alongside a skin bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus, osteomyelitis infiltrates surgical sites or open wounds.

When infectious bacteria invade a deep, open wound on an elderly patient in a long-term care facility, it is usually considered a form of nursing negligence.

For at-risk elderly patients that do not receive proper care in a long-term care facility, they have a higher chance of developing bed sores accompanied by further complications and life-threatening conditions, such as osteomyelitis.

Approximately between 17 and 32 percent of patients with pre-existing bed sores develop osteomyelitis as well.

High-risk elderly patients in nursing homes require adequate care, so caretakers must take additional precautions to prevent dangerous diseases.

If your loved one is suffering from osteomyelitis in an at-fault nursing home, take immediate action by contacting the experienced osteomyelitis attorneys at the Peck Law Group to inquire about your legal rights.

Stage 4 Bed Sores

When high-risk patients do not receive sufficient treatment from their caretakers, bed sores may form and advance rapidly to Stage 4. At Stage 4, an open bed sore wound becomes deeper and highly infectious in the skin, potentially exposing bones or muscles. Exposed muscles or bones are where osteomyelitis is likely to appear.

Because Stage 4 bed sores and osteomyelitis are preventable in long-term care, both are considered forms of elder abuse. If a nursing facility does not implement proper prevention and treatment procedures, patients’ lives will be at risk.

Common Symptoms of Osteomyelitis

As infectious bacteria enter the bone tissue, osteomyelitis can appear on long bones, including the leg, arm, foot, spine, or hip bones. With osteomyelitis, at-risk patients experience extreme discomfort and pain daily.

Common symptoms of osteomyelitis include fever, muscle spasms, and chronic pain and inflammation at the site.

Treatments for Osteomyelitis

Though osteomyelitis was once considered untreatable, modern antibiotics and surgical procedures treat this disease effectively.

Here are some effective treatments that stop osteomyelitis from spreading:

  • Medically prescribed antibiotics to use throughout multiple treatment phases
  • Surgical procedures to remove the dead bone tissue and cease the spread of bacteria
  • Medical devices to relieve any pressure on the body, followed by a strict repositioning schedule
  • If necessary, an amputation procedure for the infected limb

Understand that infected bones need ample time to heal post-treatment. If the infection is especially severe, a patient’s healing process could take several months.      

Is Osteomyelitis Preventable?

Fortunately, yes, osteomyelitis is preventable.

However, caretakers need to undergo proper training procedures to identify, diagnose, and prevent bed sores, osteomyelitis, and other life-threatening conditions. Essential preventative measures for bed sores and osteomyelitis include repositioning high-risk patients every few hours and rigorously cleansing open wounds or cuts before infectious bacteria penetrates deeper levels in the skin.

Unfortunately, if a nursing home does not enforce sufficient osteomyelitis training practices, some caretakers may not recognize this life-threatening condition until it is too late.

Osteomyelitis is often a result of caregiver negligence.

The Peck Law Group has over 52 years of combined experience in fighting for victims of abuse and neglect at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Receive your free case evaluation with one of our experienced osteomyelitis lawyers today by calling toll free 866-999-9085 or by filling out the form on our website.

Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorney Steven Peck

About the Author

Attorney Steven Peck has been practicing law since 1981. A former successful business owner, Mr. Peck initially focused his legal career on business law. Within the first three years, after some colleagues and friend’s parents endured nursing home neglect and elder abuse, he continued his education to begin practicing elder law and nursing home abuse law.

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