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Infections and Bed Sores

Infections and Bed Sores

Bed sores are wounds that develop in the skin as a result of pressure being placed on the skin. These sores, also called pressure ulcers, develop because a bedridden or wheelchair bound patient remains in one position for too long and this does damage to the skin. Bed sores can progress through different stages, which Stage I usually just mild skin abrasions and Stages III and IV open wounds and serious damage to the tissue, sometimes down to the bone.

Unfortunately, with open wounds in the skin, patients who have bed sores are prone to developing infections. Infected bed sores can be serious or even fatal. Infected bed sores are also a clear sign that something has gone very wrong in the nursing home or care setting where the patient is being cared for. As a result, when a patient develops infected bed sores, the patient or his family members should consult with a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney for information on taking legal action.

Infections and Bed Sores

Whenever you have a cut or an open wound, there is the potential for bacteria to get inside and for an infection to begin. Unfortunately, bed sores are large open wounds so there is great potential for them to become infected. An individual with bed sores is also generally bedridden or seriously ill already and thus his or her immune system may be unable to fight off the infection.

While patients with bed sores can develop many different types of infections, some examples of different types of problems that can develop include:

  • Cellulitis
  • Staph infections in the skin
  • Sepsis, which is a systemic infection that can lead to every system in the body rapidly deteriorating
  • Necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh eating bacteria

These and other infections can easily develop when patients do not get the care that they need. These infections are most likely to develop when:

  • The patient has undiagnosed or untreated bed sores.
  • The bed sores are not properly bandaged.
  • The bandages on the bed sores are not regularly changed.
  • The patient is left in soiled bedclothes or proper hygiene practices are not followed

Often these problems occur as a result of under staffing in nursing home, as a result of uncaring staff, or due to inadequate policies in the nursing home. When a nursing home fails to protect its patients and the staff lets those patients down, this can be an example of nursing home neglect. Nursing home neglect is a breach of the legal duty that care providers owe to patients and those who are injured by it can pursue a nursing home neglect and abuse lawsuit with the help of an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer.

The Peck Law Group

About the Author

Attorney Steven Peck has been practicing law since 1981. A former successful business owner, Mr. Peck initially focused his legal career on business law. Within the first three years, after some colleagues and friend’s parents endured nursing home neglect and elder abuse, he continued his education to begin practicing elder law and nursing home abuse law.


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