Stage 4 Bed Sores
Bedsores can be a very painful problem and can often be a sign of inattentive care over a long period of time. There are four different stages to bedsores, with the fourth stage being potentially life threatening for the patient.
Elderly patients who are under the care of a nursing home facility or at-home caregiver may experience bedsores if they are confined to their bed for a long period of time, or have not moved positions. They can be very painful and affect the bones and joints.
Stages of Bedsores
As mentioned above, there are four stages of bedsores. If not treated properly, the severity of bedsores can escalate and can cause severe health problems and in some cases, death.
- Stage 1 – There is redness on the skin, but no tears or open wounds. The sores may also feel slightly firmer or softer than the rest of the skin. This stage is easily treatable by repositioning and taking pressure off of the area in which the bedsores have occurred.
- Stage 2 – The sores will break open and be much more painful for the patient. These sores will also expand deeper into the skin. These sores can be treated similar to treating a stage 1 bedsore; however, it is important to seek the attention of a doctor.
- Stage 3 – The sores will get worse and move deeper into the tissue. Often times, special wound care is needed to treat these bedsores
- Stage 4 – Bedsores at this stage may require surgery and, if not treated properly, can be life threatening. Stage 4 bedsores go as deep as the bones and can affect the joints. Patients might not even feel pain if they are experiencing this level of bedsores because of the significant tissue damage.
Treating Stage 4 Bedsores
When bedsores become this severe, there are several different treatment options. The doctor may recommend these options based on the patient’s age, health and severity of the sores. Many patients experiencing this level of pressure sores are not often healthy enough to recover from them. However, to treat them a doctor will recommend:
- Changing Positions – Just like stage 1 sores, it is important to get the pressure off of the area in which the patient is experiencing sores. After all, remaining in the same position for a long period of time is what caused the bedsores.
- Debridement – The doctor will need to remove all of the dead and infected tissues in order to help the healthy tissue heal. This also helps minimize the risk of infection.
- Medication – Standard antibiotics or pain relievers can be used to treat the pain that the patient is experiencing from the bedsores. However, there are also new medications that have been developed to help treat bedsores in elderly patients.
- Negative Pressure Therapy – This is the process of removing dead tissue and helping new, healthy tissue to form. Many patients take on negative pressure therapy after a debridement procedure.
There are many different treatment options for patients experiencing stage 4 bedsores. However, it is important that you consult with a doctor to determine the best treatment plan for you.
Legal Assistance for Stage 4 Bedsore Victims
When a patient is experiencing stage 4 bedsores, they are the victim of neglect. These bedsores are caused by lack of attention and the lack of care to ensure that patients are repositioned every two hours. If your family member is the victim of this type of neglect, you might be entitled to compensation for their pain, disability and medical expenses. You should speak with a reputable law firm about your case to determine your legal options.
“Stage Four Pressure Sores: Indication Of Inattentive Care.” Pearl Griffin. Nursing Homes Abuse Blog. Web. 31 March 2015. <https://www.nursinghomesabuseblog.com/bedsores-pressure-sores-decubitus-ulcers/stages-of-bed-sores/stage-four-pressure-sores-inattentive-care/>
“Skin Care & Pressure Sores – Recognizing and Treating Pressure Sores.” MSKTC Experts. Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center. Web. https://www.msktc.org/sci/factsheets/skincare/Recognizing-and-Treating-Pressure-Sores#sthash.SDGDOsf7.dpuf
“Stage 4 Bedsores.” Nursing Home Abuse Guide. https://nursinghomeabuseguide.com/abuse-injuries/types-of-bedsores/stage-4-bedsores/