Pressure Sores

The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) has designated November 19, 2015 as 2015 World Wide Pressure Ulcer Prevention Day.

As seen on the page:

The objective of World Wide Pressure Ulcer Prevention Day is to increase national awareness for pressure ulcer prevention and to educate the public on this topic.

The page also has various links to materials concerning pressure sores.

For those unaware of the stages of pressure sores, pressure ulcers are classified by the NPUAP based upon the degree of soft tissue damage.  As seen on the NPUAP page that describes the various pressure ulcer stages, the least severe pressure sores are considered to be Stage 1 whereas the most severe is Stage 4.

Of particular interest to those who may not be fully aware of what pressure sores look like may be the page titled “Pressure Ulcer Fact Sheet.”  On this page one can see pictures of various pressure ulcers as classified by various stages (Stage 1; Stage 2; Stage 3; and Stage 4.)  Also seen on this page are “Best Practices” for the prevention of pressure ulcers.

As stated on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Medline Plus page on Pressure Sores summary:

Pressure sores are areas of damaged skin caused by staying in one position for too long. They commonly form where your bones are close to your skin, such as your ankles, back, elbows, heels and hips. You are at risk if you are bedridden, use a wheelchair, or are unable to change your position. Pressure sores can cause serious infections, some of which are life-threatening. They can be a problem for people in nursing homes.

You can prevent the sores by

  • Keeping skin clean and dry
  • Changing position every two hours
  • Using pillows and products that relieve pressure

Pressure sores have a variety of treatments. Advanced sores are slow to heal, so early treatment is best.

There are many potential factors – including poor and/or negligent medical care – that can lead to pressure sores (which are often referred to as bedsores or bed sores.)  As well, some people may be inherently more susceptible to developing pressure sores.

Among factors that may make one more susceptible to developing pressure sores include malnutrition, skin wetness, various diseases, a history of smoking, low body mass index, and a prior history of developing pressure ulcers.

Regardless of why the pressure sores have developed, it is absolutely imperative that they are treated immediately in a proper manner.  This is so that they don’t worsen in condition, which can lead to a range of various adverse health conditions – and possibly lead to death.  There have been many recent lawsuits – some in the Chicago area as well as elsewhere in Illinois – in which bedsores have been alleged to have caused serious injuries to nursing home residents, and in some cases – as seen in wrongful death lawsuits – the deaths of nursing home residents.

Nursing home and other care facilities are supposed to prevent pressure sores’ development.  Should pressure sores develop, nursing homes are supposed to effectively treat them.   However, for a variety of reasons, a nursing home can fall short of fulfilling its responsibilities.  Unfortunately, their patients’ health often is adversely impacted by such negligence or carelessness.

If you or someone you care for is a victim of bedsores, call the Elman Joseph Law Group at 773-392-8182 to immediately discuss the situation with a trial lawyer.  This consultation is provided free of charge and is confidential.