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Stage 2 Bedsores

Many senior nursing home residents are at a higher risk of bedsores and may develop stage 2 bedsores if stage 1 ulcers aren’t treated promptly. Although stage 2 bedsores can heal in a matter of days or weeks, they’re an indication of negligence in your loved one’s care. If a bedsore develops in a skilled nursing facility, the facility and caregivers may be negligent and therefore liable for the injuries. It’s important to contact an attorney as soon as an injury occurs. They can determine if abuse occurred and file a claim for nursing home abuse damages. 

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What are stage 2 bedsores?

Bedsores are classified as one of four categories depending on the severity of the sore. Also called pressure sores or decubitus ulcers, they form when prolonged pressure causes a person’s bones to press against their skin. Johns Hopkins identifies stage 2 bedsores as stage 1 bedsores that have progressed to an open sore. They typically look like open blisters and are painful.  

People in nursing homes generally have limited mobility or other underlying health issues and may be more susceptible to bedsores than others. Left untreated, bedsores can cause serious health problems and may be fatal if an infection occurs. 

It’s important to understand the causes of bedsores and how they may indicate that a nursing home is neglecting or abusing its patients. Nursing home staff members are trained to prevent and treat bedsores and should be held accountable for insufficient care.

Common Causes of Stage 2 Bedsores

Healthline notes that pressure ulcers develop when the blood supply is interrupted. Lying down or sitting in the same position for too long restricts blood flow to specific areas and damages the skin. The irritation and itching characteristic of a stage 1 bedsore progress to an open wound in stage 2. 

When nursing homes are understaffed or caregivers are not adequately trained, residents are more susceptible to developing bedsores. 

In facilities where staffing is an issue, residents who require assistance with mobility and repositioning may be neglected simply because no one is available to meet their needs. In such cases, residents have an increased risk of developing bedsores. 

Similarly, staff members who have not been trained to conduct skin checks may fail to recognize early the signs of bedsores. As a result, stage 1 bedsores are left untreated and advance to stage 2. 

BMC Geriatrics explains that people with certain underlying health conditions may have a higher likelihood of developing bedsores. For example, people with diabetes or circulatory issues are at a higher risk. 

Other risk factors include: 

  • Bladder or bowel control problems 
  • Malnourishment or being underweight
  • Dehydration 

Allowing residents to become dehydrated or malnourished also constitutes neglect. 

Nursing homes should identify people with a higher risk of developing bedsores and include prevention as part of their care plan. 

What are the symptoms of stage 2 bedsores?

An open wound at the site of the stage 1 bedsore is the most obvious symptom of a stage 2 bedsore. The wound affects the top layer of skin, the epidermis, and sometimes the next layer of skin, the dermis. These open wounds are subject to infection, which can be serious if left untreated.  

Although bedsores can develop anywhere on the body, areas without much fat and muscle tissue between the bones and skin are the more common spots on which they develop. These areas include: 

  • The ankles and heels 
  • The back of the head 
  • Hips and tailbone
  • Shoulders 

The skin around a bedsore may have red or purple discoloration, and pus may leak from the sore. Stage 2 bedsores are also much more painful than stage 1 sores and may be harder to treat. 

Preventing Stage 2 Bedsores

The best way to prevent stage 2 bedsores is to treat stage 1 bedsores before the skin breaks. Begin by moving the person to relieve pressure from the bedsore. Then gently wash the skin with warm, soapy water, and pat it dry. 

Nurses should implement a repositioning schedule and examine high-risk residents daily to identify bedsores before the condition worsens.  

You may want to document your loved one’s bedsores by taking photos and recording the date on which you first noticed them. This documentation can be helpful in a nursing home neglect lawsuit or in filing a complaint with the state agency responsible for overseeing the licensure and regulation of nursing homes. 

How are stage 2 bedsores treated?

A medical professional should treat stage 2 bedsores as soon as possible. The ulcer should be cleaned, dried, and bandaged with sterile gauze. Rinsing with saline is a popular method of cleaning open wounds. The doctor may also conduct debridement, which removes dead skin and damaged tissue so the bedsore can heal. 

Proper nutrition is essential in helping older adults heal from bedsores. Oftentimes, people in nursing homes have trouble getting the complete range of nutrients or may have trouble eating. A diet low in protein and vitamins A and C can put some people at higher risk of developing bedsores. Supplementing good nutrition with iron and zinc can help reduce a person’s chances of developing bedsores. 

It’s important to take pressure off the affected areas to allow them to heal. Patients who are bedbound may need to be rotated or propped up to ease the pressure. Some people may benefit from special bedding and pillows designed to help those susceptible to bedsores. Nursing staff have a responsibility to assess, implement, and consistently reevaluate care plans to mitigate the risk of injury.  

Complications from Stage 2 Bedsores

Many people who develop stage 2 bedsores may still have a fairly good prognosis if they receive prompt medical treatment and address the circumstances that caused their pressure ulcers. With the right cleaning and treatment, stage 2 bedsores can heal within a few weeks. 

However, left untreated, stage 2 bedsores can lead to significant damage to the skin’s deeper tissue and progress to stages 3 and 4. These are harder to treat and may lead to significant health complications or fatality. 

Additional complications of bedsores, as with any open wounds, include infections. An infection from a stage 2 bedsore can spread to the bloodstream and bone, which can result in permanent tissue damage, sepsis, or osteomyelitis. 

At this point, the patient may need extensive medical care.

Filing a Claim of Nursing Home Abuse

If your loved one developed bedsores due to neglect in their nursing home or skilled care facility, you might be able to file a lawsuit for damages.  

Damages from a nursing home bedsore case can cover medical and rehabilitation expenses, as well as the cost of care at a different facility. In addition to these potential economic damages, your loved one may be entitled to compensation for any emotional trauma stemming from the abuse. 

Your nursing home abuse lawyer may also seek punitive damages for the facility’s negligence and lack of oversight. 

If you believe that your loved one developed bedsores due to nursing home neglect, contact the team at Levin & Perconti today for a free consultation about your case. 

$1.4 million

Settlement

against a facility located in the northern suburbs for a former nursing home resident who sustained injuries as a result of a pressure sore.

$2.8 million

Settlement

record nursing home pressure sore settlement against a suburban Hillside nursing home and physician for a 59-year-old resident who developed multiple painful and infected bedsores which took four years to heal

$2.3 million

Settlement

for the family of an 88-year-old assisted living facility resident who developed severe and infected bed sores which ultimately brought about her death. Her doctor was criminally indicted for his conduct and charged with involuntary homicide

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