Nursing Home Abuse:
Bedsores are also known as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers. They are lesions caused by unrelieved pressure to any part of the body, especially portions over bony or cartilaginous areas. Although treatable if found early, without medical attention, bedsores can become life-threatening.
Patients who experience neglect in nursing homes might easily develop bedsores, due to some patients' limited mobility and the need for assistance with changing position while in bed for an extended period of time. Nursing home staff should be sufficiently trained and in sufficient number to make sure that residents are not left unattended to the point that they develop these painful lesions.
Bedsores are classified in 4 stages:
- Stage I - Intact skin with signs of impending ulceration.
- Stage II - A partial-thickness loss of skin. This lesion may present as an abrasion, blister, or superficial ulceration.
- Stage III - A full-thickness loss of skin with extension into tissue beneath the skin. This lesion presents as a crater with or without undermining of adjacent tissue.
- Stage IV - Full-thickness, loss of skin and subcutaneous tissue and extension into muscle, bone, tendon, or joint capsule. Sinus tracts and severe undermining are also usually present.
Bedsores must be kept clean. Surgical debridement, which involves removing the dead tissue, is often necessary. With severe bedsores, reconstructive surgery could be necessary. If extremely severe bedsore are not attended to, it could result in the death of the patient.