As her bed sores worsened, the 93-year-old woman grew sicker and sicker. Finally, when the putrid sores had grown so deep that they ate through her leg and exposed her shinbone, she left the nursing home and was admitted to the hospital.
Not long after, the woman passed away from the dehydration and infection associated with the bed sores. The Toronto Star reports that at the time of her death, the woman had an ulcer on her foot, a hole in one heel and an eight-centimeter ulcer on her shin.
Unfortunately, this type of story is not rare. Many families in Ohio and across the U.S. have dealt with the pain and frustration of seeing their loved ones suffer from preventable pressure ulcers. So what can you do to ensure your loved one doesn't become a victim?
Watch For These Important Symptoms
The Mayo Clinic points out that wheelchair users are most likely to suffer pressure ulcers on their buttocks, spines, shoulder blades, arms and legs. Those confined to bed are most likely to suffer such sores on their heads, ears, shoulder blades, hips, heels and other body parts that press against the bed.
Here are the warning symptoms to watch for at each stage of bed sore development:
- Stage One Symptoms - The skin isn't broken, but it looks red or discolored. It may feel unusually painful, hard, soft, hot or cold.
- Stage Two Symptoms - The outer layer of skin is usually damaged, leaving a shallow pink or red wound. It may also look like a blister.
- Stage Three Symptoms - A deep, crater-like wound is visible, often exposing fat or dead tissue.
- Stage Four Symptoms - The wound is so deep that it uncovers bones, muscles or tendons. The damage is typically severe.
Don't Let The Nursing Home Tell You It's Normal
If nursing aides and other staff provide appropriate care, such as regularly repositioning patients, bed sores should not happen. The nursing home has a responsibility to pay attention to your loved one's health and take proper measures to prevent ulcers.
It's Never Too Late To Seek Justice
If your elderly parent or other family member has already suffered from these painful sores or their complications, you have legal rights and options. Learn about the possibility of pursuing a personal injury claim against the negligent care facility. A skilled lawyer can advocate for you and the full compensation you and your family may deserve.