Stage 1 and stage 2 bedsores should be identified early and treated properly. If they are not, they could progress into stage 3 bedsores that can have serious medical consequences for patients. Stage 3 bedsores are typically deep ulcers. They are crater-like abrasions that develop on a person’s skin and are frequently accompanied by infection. Those who develop stage 3 bedsores are at higher risk of serious illness and death.
What Does a Stage 3 Bedsore Look Like?
Stage 3 bedsores will be immediately identifiable. They will typically be characterized by the following:
black or rotting skin on the edges of the bedsore
yellowish or dead tissue
visible fat tissues
no visible tendons, ligaments, muscles, or bone
Bedsores at this stage will typically be gruesome and appearance. However, the patient may not feel much pain due to extensive nerve damage in the area.
Preventing Stage 3 Bedsores
Upon the discovery of stage 1 or stage 2 bedsores, caretakers for the elderly must take immediate preventative measures in order to prevent the bedsore from progressing to stage 3. This could include any or all of the following:
changing a patient’s position regularly
using foam padding, powders, special bedding, or other medically approved items designed for bedsore prevention
helping the patient maintain a well-balanced diet with plenty of water
physical therapy for the patient to encourage continual mobility
keeping the patient’s bedding clean and dry
helping the patient maintain good hygiene, especially if they have trouble controlling their bladder or bowels
applying any medication that was prescribed when a patient was diagnosed with a stage 2 bedsore
Family members of those who are in a nursing home should always check their loved ones for bedsores when they visit.
Stage 3 Bedsore Treatment
Stage 3 bedsores require immediate medical assistance. At stage 3, a bedsore has developed into a full-the thickness skin injury, and infection is likely to occur. Upon the discovery and diagnosis of a stage 3 bedsore, the patient will likely be treated with antibiotics and pain medications.
It will be necessary for a doctor or surgeon to remove all dead tissue through a process that is known as debridement. Surgical treatment is often used to treat stage 3 bedsores if the wound will not heal after initial medical intervention or if the infection gets worse. It may also be necessary to debride the underlying bone, depending on the seriousness of the bedsore. In some cases, reconstruction surgery may be necessary following the clearing of a deep stage 3 bedsore.
If a stage 3 bedsore has developed while a patient was under the care of nursing home staff, this may be a sign of abuse or neglect. If your loved one has developed a stage 3 bedsore, you may need to speak to a skilled Anaheim elder abuse attorney to consider filing a civil elder abuse lawsuit against the nursing home staff and agency. You need to ensure that your loved one has a safe environment to return to after the treatment of a stage 3 bedsore.