Staging of Pressure Ulcers & Bed Sores

The Buckfire & Buckfire P.C. nursing home neglect lawyers in Michigan are experts at handling lawsuits involving the development of pressure ulcers and bed sores to patients.  Often times, these pressure ulcers are the result of improper care at a Michigan nursing home. This is because pressure ulcers happen when a nursing home patient sits or lies in the same position for a prolonged amount of time, cutting off the supply of blood to an area of the body.

A nursing home is to take every precaution necessary as well prevent pressure ulcers and bed sores to residents with proper assessment, documentation, and treatment. If the nursing home fails to do this, nursing home neglect has taken place, and the resident and their family has the right to file a lawsuit for their injuries suffered.

 The Four Stages of Pressure Ulcers 

Pressure ulcers and bed sores are an injury to the skin and underlying tissue, they can array from slight reddening of the skin to severe tissue damage and sometimes infection.  Infections can turn serious and extend into muscle and bone. The four stages used to describe Stages of Pressure Ulcerspressure ulcers are listed below.

  • Stage 1: Sores are not open wounds. The skin may be painful, but it has no breaks or tears. The skin appears reddened and does not blanch (lose color briefly when you press your finger on it then remove your finger). In a dark-skinned person, the area may appear to be a different color than the surrounding skin, but it may not look red. Skin temperature is often warmer. And the stage 1 sore can feel either firmer or softer than the area around it.
  • Stage 2: The skin breaks open, wears away, or forms an ulcer, which is usually tender and painful. The sore expands into deeper layers of the skin. It can look like a scrape, abrasion, blister, or a shallow crater in the skin. Sometimes this stage looks like a blister filled with clear fluid. At this stage, some skin may be damaged beyond repair or may die.
  • Stage 3: The sore gets worse and extends into the tissue beneath the skin, forming a small crater. Fat may show in the sore, but not muscle, tendon, or bone.
  • Stage 4: The pressure sore is very deep, reaching into muscle and bone and causing extensive damage. Damage to deeper tissues, tendons, and joints may occur.

During stages 3 and 4, residents can experience little or no pain due to significant tissue damage. Serious complications, such as infection of the bone, like osteomyelitis or blood, like sepsis, can occur if pressure sores progress.

At times, a pressure ulcer or sore does not classify into one of the four stages.  In this instance the sore is called a deep tissue injury (DTI). A deep tissue injury occurs when a pressure sore is suspected, but cannot be confirmed.  There are also pressure sores that exist where the stage is not clear.  In these cases, the base of the sore is covered by a thick layer of other tissue and pus that may be yellow, gray, green, brown, or black.  The stage cannot be determined because the base of the sore cannot be seen by the doctor.  These sores are classified as “unstageable.”

Sue Michigan Nursing Home For Pressure Ulcers

Patients who suffer bed sores and pressure ulcers at a nursing home or in other medical care facilities do have legal rights. These injuries and conditions are completely preventable with proper nursing practices and medical supervision. Victims, or their family members, should contact our office immediately to discuss their case. Call our office now at (800) 606-1717 to speak with one of our experienced Michigan nursing home neglect lawyers about your case. We will represent you under our No Fee Promise, meaning you do not pay any legal fees until we win or settle your case.

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