PRESSURE ULCERS

Sadly, we review more than a few pressure ulcer cases each year. A pressure ulcer is essentially a bedsore that can develop because too much pressure is placed on the skin. Often pressure ulcers form on heels, sacrums (buttocks) and other areas that non-walking long term care residents sit for hours. Family by law – SHOULD BE NOTIFIED if their loved one develops a pressure ulcer. They should also be notified if the ulcer gets worse – or a change in the condition occurs. We find however, that this rarely occurs. Often family members are told “there is a pressure ulcer but nothing to worry about – it is getting better.” Not until the hospital finds the wound is the size of a softball, and bone is exposed, does a family learn what happened.

So if a nurse says – ” I can’t show you the wound because it has to be covered to heal” – tell them “take it off anyway,” then request the attending physician to explain the wound and ask if a wound care consult out of the facility is a good idea. We have learned “wound care” nurses may be someone with less than 48 hours of special training – and that doctors don’t even look at the wound.. So that tells me – you need a second opinion!

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Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at lellerman@frithlawfirm.com.