Are Bedsores Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?

Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question “What constitutes nursing home negligence?”


Bedsores are also called pressure ulcers and can occur most often on people who are bedridden or who are immobile. Pressure ulcers happen over time, and they can and should be prevented. Competent caregivers know how to avoid bedsores on their patients. Unfortunately, bedsores are usually signs of neglect. Elder care neglect can put your loved one in danger. If you believe that a loved one is the victim of nursing home or caregiver neglect, you can seek legal help from an experienced personal injury attorney.


grandsons-nursing-home-Charlotte-Monroe-Mooresville-Nursing-home-neglect-attorneys-244x300What are Bedsores?


Pressure ulcers, also commonly called bedsores, are painful sores that occur on parts of the body that come into frequent contact with something else. They are caused by friction that happens due to constant rubbing in the same area. Bedsores most often appear on parts of the body that rub on bed sheets, such as the back of the head, tailbone, knee backs and sides, shoulder blades, and heels, among other places. The sores are caused when contact cuts off the circulation to a particular spot. When a sore forms it often worsens and can pose great risk to patients, especially those who are already compromised.


Severity of Bedsores


Bedsores begin as small, red spots on the top of the skin. As they worsen, the sores become larger and deeper. They become more dangerous when the skin breaks open and there is a danger of infection. The sores can take a long time to heal, especially in the elderly and those who already have other medical problems. Pressure ulcers are categorized into four main bedsore stages:


  • Stage I – A small red or purplish spot forms on the body. The sore may itch or burn and the patient may complain of pain or discomfort.
  • Stage II – The area becomes larger and the skin may open up and bleed. There is significant pain and the wound may look like a scrape or blister. Medical treatment must be rendered to prevent infection.
  • Stage III – The ulcer becomes deeper and areas below the skin are visibly damaged. The skin does not heal and is open to the air.
  • Stage IV – These are the most severe pressure ulcers. At this stage, they have progressed into large, deep wounds. The wound may go deep into the tissues and down to the bone. These sores require emergency medical care.


Why Bedsores are Dangerous


Bedsores are a health risk to those who are unable to move by themselves. Bedridden patients cannot change positions frequently like others do. Those who are in bed recovering from surgery or a medical condition or those who are immobile or unconscious are at greater risk of pressure ulcers. Often, bedsores go unnoticed until they are in the later stages. Bedsores are extremely difficult to treat because they heal slowly and it can be hard to prevent further rubbing in the same area. When bedsores open up they can get infected easily. For elderly people and those who are otherwise compromised, bedsores can progress and become deadly. Once infection begins, bedsores can become life threatening.


Bedsores are Signs of Neglect


Caregivers should be aware of the dangers of bedsores and must take precautions to prevent their occurrence. Inexperienced providers may not inspect a bedridden person’s body for bedsores as they should. As a result, bedsores go unnoticed and are allowed to worsen. A person who is bedridden must be moved and turned several or more times each day. They must change position in order to avoid constant contact in the same areas of the body. When a pressure ulcer forms, immediate medical evaluation and care must be rendered. If someone has a bedsore, extra care must be provided to ensure that it doesn’t get worse. When someone has bedsores it means that the proper care was likely not provided.


If a loved one suffers from bedsores, it may mean that the caregiver was neglectful. The patient requires medical treatment and you may need to move your loved one to a different facility. If the care provider was negligent, you may be owed money for damages. Your lawyer knows how to research and evaluate the matter and will provide you with a path for justice. The negligent party will be held accountable for the injuries and damages they caused. Call (704) 370-2828 to receive a video, phone or in-person consultation with our lawyers to explore your legal options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.







The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.





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