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When Nursing Home Pressure Sores Are Dangerous

May 29, 2020 | Category: Nursing Home Neglect/Abuse | Share

Johns Hopkins Medicine says pressure sores (also known as decubitus ulcers or bedsores) often happen when a person is bedridden or otherwise immobile, unconscious, or unable to sense pain. They happen “…on areas of the skin that are under pressure from lying in bed, sitting in a wheelchair, or wearing a cast for a prolonged time.”

They usually will occur on:

  • Buttocks area (on the tailbone or hips)
  • Heels of the feet
  • Shoulder blades
  • Back of the head
  • Backs and sides of the knees

The quality of care in nursing homes and other living facilities is critical to preventing and treating pressure sores. These sores develop if an immobile person is not turned, positioned correctly, and given good nutrition and skin care. If a person has diabetes, circulation problems and poor nutrition, they are at a higher risk of having pressure sores.

According to Johns Hopkins, “Wherever there's a bony prominence, for example, the sacral area, heels or elbows, and pressure is applied, just as would happen when somebody's lying in bed over time, it ultimately can impair circulation and lead to skin breakdown.”

A pressure sore develops when blood supply to the skin is cut off for more than 2 to 3 hours. As the skin dies, the pressure sore first starts as a red, painful area, which eventually turns purple. Left untreated, the skin can break open, and the area can become infected.

Johns Hopkins says, “A pressure sore can become deep. It can extend into the muscle and bone. Once a pressure sore develops, it is often very slow to heal. Depending on the severity of the pressure sore, the person's physical condition, and the presence of other diseases (such as diabetes), pressure sores can take days, months, or even years to heal. They may need surgery to help the healing process.”

There are four stages of pressure sores.

These stages include:

Stage One: is the mildest stage in which a sore on the top layer of the skin occurs.  Symptoms include red or discolored skin, warmer temperature, and mild pain, burning and/or itching may occur. At this stage the sore has not penetrated to the soft tissue, muscle or bone.

Stage Two: the sore becomes an open wound.  The top layer of skin has been broken and the sore hits deeper layers of the skin.  It has not yet hit the soft tissue, muscle or bone.  The sore takes on the shape of an ulcer or blister.  It can also contain fluid.

Stage Three: the sore travels deeper and hits the soft tissue below the skin.  Bone, tendon and muscle are not visible.  There could be puss and/or greenish drainage.  A fever could develop.

Stage Four the sore is now at its deepest and is hitting the soft tissue, muscle, tendon, and bone.  More than likely infection has occurred.  Puss and drainage are probably present.  

Pressure sores can be a health risk as they can lead to sepsis and infection. Once pressure sores become infected, the infection can spread to vital organs or the blood and cause death.

“Should you or a loved one be injured because of negligence in a nursing home or care facility, it is important to contact our legal team. We have the experience to assist you. Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. represents people involved in numerous types of personal injury and wrongful death accidents throughout the state of Florida. All of our clients have unique personal injury cases. Our firm provides personal contact and communication along with aggressive representative,” said Fort Myers Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Randall Spivey.

Fort Myers Nursing Home Abuse Attorney  Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one  percent (1%) of Florida attorneys.  He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.  For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact  Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll-free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to  Visit for more information.  You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County at 239.793.7748.

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