Again, this week, I received a call from someone who was shocked to learn their Mother had developed significant pressure ulcers at a local nursing home, and now they were infected.
Pressure Ulcers have gone by many names is the last 10-15 years: bed sores; pressure sores; pressure ulcers, and now the people who write about these wounds are calling them Pressure Injuries. Why? Because they are injuries to the body, skin, tissue and even muscle. Often times such significant injuries they lead to skin death, tissue and muscle death, pain, infection and worse, death.
And do they hurt? I am told they do – yes. I have changed a loved ones bandages on a Stage I and Stage II ulcer and I can tell you the wound is very painful for her – and it has never been larger than a quarter in width.
I have also had patients who felt extreme embarrassment because of the wounds, and the constant attention and care required once they develop. Lastly, I have seen major infections develop and spread throughout the body as a result of these wounds.
Are they avoidable? Most are – yes.
Are they caused by negligence? Most are – yes.
Can a facility that is properly staffed prevent the development of these wounds? Yes, if the patient has been properly assessed as a risk.
Can a facility that is properly staffed prevent them from advancing into deeper and more serious wounds? Yes, with the right care.
Can a facility that is properly staffed prevent infection or diagnose it timely such that it can be treated? Yes, that is the hope.
Please note that in my experience the proper prevention and treatment takes time and specific medical interventions, and only facilities that have enough nurses can devote the time required to prevent these injuries, or treat them effectively upon development.
Please also note that many facilities do not hire the staff needed to properly care for their staff, and the result – can be, the failure to prevent, diagnose or properly treat these painful wounds.
If your loved one has suffered a pressure ulcer injury in a Virginia facility, and it didn’t heal, we are happy to assist you in investigating the care and causes of the injury. Call us today – 540-985-0098.