Anything left untreated can only worsen and develop fatal complications. From a minor softened tissue area and shallow skin loss, bedsores can turn into a crater-like open wound, which progresses into infections deep enough to penetrate several areas of the body.
Bedsores are a result of prolonged skin pressure, shearing and friction. Eventually, they cut off the blood supply and injure the skin. These often occur in bony body parts, like hips, heels, shoulders and buttocks. Elderly nursing home residents are particularly prone to bedsores due to their sedentary lifestyle, where they’re mostly confined to their beds due to weakness or illness.
Nursing home staff can place supplemental sheets and pillows, lift, turn or regularly reposition an elderly to prevent bedsores. Also, they must watch out for contributing risk factors, such as malnutrition, incontinence and auto-immune deficiencies that may worsen or contaminate bedsores. When they fail to do these, things can escalate into lethal conditions.
Bedsores can be deadly
The Maryland Department of Aging reported 283 elder abuse allegations, 70 of which have been classified as gross neglect. Possibly due to understaffing, when the only available nursing home staff fails to frequently keep their vulnerable elderly residents mobile, the following complications can occur:
- Myonecrosis or gas gangrene
- Limb amputation
- Necrotizing fasciitis
- Cell skin cancer
Most of these complications involve the surgical removal of dead skin to avoid rapidly spreading infections leading to sepsis, organ failure, shock and, in the worst cases, death.
Time to move
You can’t afford to waste any more time. If your loved one fell victim to a bedsore tragedy, you must act now and devote your resources to seeking urgent medical care. But after immediate medical attention, long-term care can quickly drain your finances. For some surviving amputees, grief counseling may also be necessary. A legal team can discuss your options for recovering monetary compensation from the liable nursing home that delivered substandard care.