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Bed Sores/ Ulcers

Bed Sores & Ulcers


One of the many signs of nursing home abuse or neglect is the development of bed sores, also known as pressure sores, pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers. In some cases, improper staffing may play a role in this serious condition. A nursing home staff that is stretched thin and overworked may fail to properly care for a resident who is sedentary in a bed or wheelchair.


Bed sores may develop when there is unrelieved pressure to the skin. The bedsore may develop into a serious infection or other injury that may result in a wrongful death. Nursing home staff should be aware of the risks of bed sores. They may need to help a resident change positions regularly and inspect the skin on a regular basis.

Nursing home residents should maintain a healthy diet. Malnutrition may lead to bedsores and other health issues. Furthermore, exercise is important to keep blood flowing throughout the body (even if the physical activity is minimal movement). If the proper precautions were not taken to ensure the safety of your elderly loved one, then don't wait to contact a Santa Rosa nursing home abuse attorney from our office today.


Pressure sores, also referred to as bed sores, can range in severity and degree. From a mild reddening of the skin to severe tissue damage or infection, a host of uncomfortable and debilitating symptoms can result from the development of a bed sore. Professionals in the medical field have identified four different stages of bed sores, each a representation of the varying degrees of severity that these wounds can bring.

Stage 1 Bed Sores: In Stage 1, the sore is not yet an open wound. Although the skin may cause the patient pain, it has not yet begun to break or tear; rather, the skin appears reddened and does not turn a lighter color when your finger is pressed against it and is then removed (blanching). Individuals who suffer from a Stage 1 bed sore often experience a higher degree of skin temperature, and the sore itself can be either firmer or softer than the other skin around it.

Stage 2 Bed Sores: In Stage 2, the sore causes the skin to break open / wear away / develop an ulcer; in all three cases, the skin can be unusually tender and painful. During this stage, the sore will expand and envelop deeper layers of the skin, which could cause the skin to be permanently damaged or even die. Sores in Stage 2 often look like a scrape, blister, or shallow crater in the skin.

Stage 3 Bed Sores: In Stage 3, the sore will continue to worsen and it will also continue to extend into the tissue beneath the skin. Once the sore has reached below the skin tissue, a small crater will be formed. At this stage, fat may appear in the sore (but muscle, tendons, and bones will still be invisible).

Stage 4 Bed Sores: In Stage 4, the bed sore is so deep that it can extend into the muscle and bone, which could inevitably result in extensive damage. The deeper tissues of an individual, as well as the tendons and joints can also be damaged at this stage.

Stages 3 and 4 of a bed sore's life can be of particular concern because they often cause little to no pain (a result of the significant tissue damage). If the patient can't feel pain, then he or she may be far less likely to complain about the sore. At these stages, serious complications are likely to develop, including osteomyelitis (infection of the bone) and / or sepsis (infection of the blood).


While any nursing home resident has the potential to develop one or more bedsores during his or her stay at the facility, there are certain individuals whose personal circumstances put them more at risk for developing this type of pressure sore. Risk factors that can put a nursing home resident in particular danger of developing a bed sore include:

  • Age – residents over the age of 75
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Friction caused by turning, lifting, or pushing a resident too rapidly
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Residents with serious medical conditions, i.e. cancer, diabetes, or multiple sclerosis
  • Residents who cannot feed themselves
  • Residents who are incontinent
  • Residents who have decreased mental capacity
  • Residents who cannot reposition themselves on their own
  • Residents who are underweight
  • Residents who suffer from skin dampness (from incontinence or sweat)


If a nursing home facility fails to provide adequate care to the residents of the facility, then a claim of nursing home abuse and / or neglect can be made. In order to strengthen the claim that you make, there are certain steps that can be taken, which include:

  • Photographing and dating the lesions / bed sores
  • Requesting documentation such as performance reports of the nursing home staff members that were caring to your loved one at the time that the bed sore developed
  • Obtaining copies of any former allegations that may have been made concerning abusive or negligent behaviors in the nursing home facility
  • Requesting staff members to provide you with a thorough explanation of the steps that were taken to care for the resident
  • Requesting a list of past citations or warnings that were made in connection with the nursing home facility at which your loved one developed a bed sore

The more information that you gather to support your claim, the better chances you will stand at being successful. You can bring any and all of the materials that you have on hand with you to your first appointment with an attorney at our firm, and we can help you determine which documents and evidential items can best support the claim that you wish to make.

Sonoma County Nursing Home Ratings & Safety Violation Information

This page will also delve into what we dowhat we look for, signs of abuse and inferior care, how we can help and what to do if you suspect poor care. The information on this page will undoubtedly give you a much broader spectrum of information in terms of Santa Rosa's nursing homes, and ultimately could keep your loved ones out of abusive situations or help you navigate your options when nursing home abuse affects you and your family. Click here to read more about Sonoma County nursing home ratings and safety.


We understand how difficult it is for California families when a loved one has become a victim of nursing home abuse and neglect. If your loved one has been injured due to nursing home abuse and neglect, you may be entitled to compensation for losses. Contact a nursing home abuse lawyer today. At The Law Offices of Freeman & Freeman, we put our resources and experience to work for clients.

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The Law Offices of Freeman & Freeman is committed to answering your questions about Personal Injury and Nursing Home Abuse law issues in Santa Rosa and throughout Northern California. We offer a free consultation and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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