Just as it sounds, a ‘deep tissue injury’ is an injury to a patients underlying tissue below the skin’s surface that results from prolonged pressure in an area of the body. Similar to a pressure sore, a deep tissue injury restricts blood flow in the tissue causing the tissue to die. While the mechanics of […]
Category : Stages & Development
Bedsore Stages & Development
A bedsore, also referred to as a pressure sore, pressure ulcer and decubitus ulcer, is a localized injury on skin or underlying tissue, usually occurring over a bony area. The bedsore is often caused by pressure, friction or shearing of soft tissue on the body, resulting in partial or complete blood flow obstruction. Shearing can stretch and tear blood vessels feeding the skin.
Bed Sore Development
Common areas for bed sore development can include the buttocks, sacrum, tailbone, ankles, knees, hips, heels, shoulders, shoulder blades and the back and sides of the head. Individuals most susceptible to developing pressure ulcers are the elderly, disabled, bed bound and wheelchair-bound individuals, and those that do not have the ability to reposition themselves without assistance.
Those that are malnourished, dehydrated or with fragile skin, bowel incontinence, urinary incontinence or suffering Alzheimer’s disease have an increased potential of developing a pressure ulcer. Though decubitus ulcers can be serious and life-threatening, they are highly treatable, especially in early stages, and recovery can be complete with proper diagnosis and care.
The staging process for decubitus ulcers was developed by the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel to assist practitioners and healthcare providers in properly diagnosing and treating bedsores. Below is a complete list of bed sore stages and development.
Stage One Bedsores
Recognizing a bedsore at stage one allows the caregiver to intervene and take quick action as early as possible to prevent the condition from becoming worse. Indicators of a stage one pressure sore include:
- The skin is intact (unbroken) but discolored. A reddened area will appear on individuals will light complexion and purple, bluish or white on people with darker complexions.
- There is a detectable change in skin temperature – either cool or warm when compared to surrounding skin areas
Stage Two Bedsores
Stage two pressure ulcers are advancing sores where the condition is significantly worse than stage one. Common indicators include:
- The skin appears warm to the touch and has the indicating signs of stage one in addition to,
- The skin is broken at the uppermost layer (epidermis), which creates an open, shallow sore
- At this stage, drainage could be present
Stage Three Bedsores
At this stage, there is significant progress of a serious pressure ulcer, and proper medical treatment using proven methods, devices and dressings is required. Indicators include:
- The skin show signs of ulceration extending through the second skin layer (dermis) into fat and subcutaneous tissue
- The sore is significantly deeper as compared to a stage two ulcer
Stage Four Bedsores
Stage four bedsores are often life threatening, where serious infection is likely to occur. Common indicators include:
- The ulcerated tissue breakdown now extends deep into the muscle and possibly the bone
- There is typically a significant amount of dead (necrotic) tissue
- The wound is open
At this stage, the wound is usually draining. It is imperative to seek immediate medical care. More than likely surgery or debridement will be required to manage the wound. Most stage four bedsores take up to one year to heal, when healing is possible.
What to Do if Your Loved One Has An Advanced Stage Bed Sore?
On the first sign of a pressure sore, it is essential to relieve the pressure for up to 30 minutes to allow blood flow to be restored to the area. Note that just because the sore appears small in size, it may not present a little problem. This is because skin damage often starts below the top layers.
In addition to treatment, typical steps to avoid or minimize the progression of the condition to advancing bed sore stages include:
- Keep the pressure off the area
- Maintain good hygiene to the area
- Improve diet and hydration
- Minimize friction when moving or repositioning
- Seek medical care from a wound care expert
Hiring an Attorney to Prosecute an Advanced Bed Sore
Stage three and stage four bedsores are serious conditions that can take the life of the individual. This is because these sores are challenging to heal and restore health. Healthcare providers recognize that advancing bedsore stages never need to occur, and are often the result of negligence by caregivers. Because of that, many families hire an attorney to stop the neglect of their loved one suffering from an advancing pressure sore.
Rosenfeld Injury Attorneys at 1-888-424-5757 can assist you in recovering damages if a loved one has been neglected in a nursing home, hospital, assistant living facility, resident home, group home or other medical center. Our law firm specializes in medical malpractice and elder abuse cases, and have assisted many victims seeking justice and financial compensation. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your claim and provide valuable legal options on how to proceed.
According to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP), an unstageable bed sore is defined as, “full thickness tissue loss in which the base of the ulcer is covered by slough (yellow, tan, gray, green or brown) and/or eschar (tan, brown or black) in the wound bed. The NPUAP further defines unstageable bed sores as […]
A Kennedy Terminal Ulcer or Kennedy ulcer is a specific type of bed sore (also referred to as pressure sore, pressure ulcer or decubitus ulcer) that is characterized by rapid onset and rapid tissue breakdown. The ‘Kennedy Ulcer’ was named after Karen Lou Kennedy-Evans- the nurse who discovered the medical condition. Like most bed sores, […]
No. Once a bed sore (also referred to as decubitus ulcer, pressure sore or pressure ulcer) is categorized as a particular stage, it should not be re-categorized to another stage– even it it heals. In other words, despite that fact that stage 4 bed sore may be healing, it should not be re-categorized to a […]
Bed sores are categorized based on their severity (stage 1, stage 2, stage 3 or stage 4 / stage I, stage II, stage III or stage IV). The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, a professional organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of bed sores, has set forth specific characteristics to help medical professionals objectively […]
‘Tunneling’ refers to a wound progressing deeper into the body as opposed to growing in surface area. Tunneling bed sores (or decubitus ulcers, pressure ulcers or pressure sores) can be difficult to treat because their outward appearance may be misleading. Tunneling wounds often involve areas larger than those that appear to be involved. Because of […]
Bed sores form when an area of tissue is compressed between a hard surface and a bony area of the body for a long period of time.
Certain individuals are more likely to develop bed sores than others.
The most common places for bed sores to form are over bony areas…