The dangers of bed sores can cause varying degrees of injury and potential deadliness in nursing home patients, and the person's sore can usually be identified as being in one of the following four stages:
Stage 1 Bed Sore
Considered to be the most mild bed sore type, Stage 1 ulcers are often painful but do not result in broken skin.
Fair-skinned patients suffering from Stage 1 sores may simply exhibit reddened skin in the afflicted area. Patients with darker skin may exhibit spots that appear to be a different color than the person’s usual skin tone.
Another common feature of a Stage 1 sore is a difference in skin consistency. The afflicted area may feel either more firm or softer than the surrounding skin.
Stage 2 Bed Sore
A nursing home patient suffering from a Stage 2 bed sore will have an open wound. The surface of the skin will be broken as well as a portion of the underlying skin, however, these wounds are not typically very deep. (Sometimes a Stage 2 bed sore may be confused for a scrape or blister.)
IMPORTANT: If a Stage 2 bed sore is not properly identified and treated, the condition can lead to permanently damaged skin.
Stage 3 Bed Sore
During this stage a bed sore can cause the patient to suffer from an open wound that affects the tissues beneath the skin (epidermis), resulting in a small crater. The seriousness of a Stage 3 sore can cause the wound to reach deep enough to reveal fat cells beneath the patient’s skin, but the sore will stop short of revealing muscle and/or bone.
Stage 4 Bed Sore
The most serious of bed sore types, Stage 4 wounds will create deep-reaching craters that affect the muscle and can reveal a patient’s bone. These ulcer types can cause serious damage to the patient’s tissue, joints, and/or tendons.
A serious consequence of Stage 2, 3, and 4 bed sores is the risk for infection. In most nursing homes, if a patient is suffering from a bed sore that has gone undetected, it’s also likely that the wound is being subjected to a less than sterile environment.
Bed Sore Attorney
Bed sores always have the potential to become a serious condition that can become life-threatening. And no matter the stage of the bed sore, these injuries indicate a sign of potential neglect inside a nursing home.
If you believe your loved one is suffering from any of the bed sore types discussed above, the nursing home should be notified immediately, and you should also consult with an experienced New Mexico nursing home abuse attorney to learn if you have any potential claims against the facility.
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