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Update: As discussed below, bed sores can be very serious, and they often occur due to nursing home neglect. However, these injuries can vary in severity, and their effects can range from mild discomfort to serious bodily harm that affects a person's overall health and well-being. By understanding the different types of bed sores, family members of nursing home patients who have suffered these types of injuries can make sure their loved ones will receive the proper care. They can also take steps to determine who was responsible and make sure that issues related to neglect will be addressed correctly.Bed sores are generally classified into four stages of severity:

  • Stage 1: When bed sores first develop, they will usually involve some redness or discoloration, as well as sensations of pain or itchiness. To prevent sores from developing further, a patient should be moved regularly, which will relieve pressure on the affected area and ensure that blood can flow properly.
  • Stage 2: If symptoms of bed sores are not addressed correctly, they may develop into wounds that affect multiple layers of skin tissue. These sores will usually involve open wounds, including scrapes or blisters. The area around a sore will be swollen, and a person may experience serious pain. Treatment for these sores will involve changing positions while also cleaning and bandaging wounds.
  • Stage 3: Without treatment, bed sores may continue to develop and penetrate into deeper layers of the skin or fat tissue. These wounds will have a crater-like appearance, and they may also become infected, leading to red, swollen tissue, drainage of pus or fluid, and an unpleasant smell. Dead tissue around the sore may turn black. These sores will require more extensive treatment, including the removal of dead tissue and medications to address infections.
  • Stage 4: The most serious bed sores will penetrate through the skin and affect internal tissues. They may result in damage to muscles, ligaments, tendons, or bones. They are also likely to result in serious infections. In some cases, surgery may be needed to repair the damage and ensure that a person can heal properly.

Contact Our Chicago Nursing Home Bed Sore Injury Lawyers

If your loved one has experienced bed sores while residing in a nursing home, it is likely that neglect played a role in this situation. At Schwartz Injury Law, our Cook County nursing home neglect attorneys can help you determine your options for holding a negligent facility responsible for the harm done to your loved one and your family. Contact us at 312-535-4625 to set up a free consultation.Add the following to the list of Sources:


chicago nursing home injury lawyerA new study by the University of Chicago found that the number of bedsores at nursing homes continues to be underreported in the United States. When a nursing home resident develops bedsores it is usually due to substandard care and inadequate staffing levels. Unfortunately, nursing homes have failed to replace staff that quit after the pandemic and 82 percent of facilities in the nation did not meet minimum staffing requirements by the federal government before the pandemic. This is alarming especially if a family member is the one with these painful and life-threatening injuries. 

Why do Bedsores Form?

Bedsores or pressure ulcers develop when the blood supply to the skin is cut off for more than two to three hours. As the skin dies, bedsores begin to form and the skin turns red. It is a clear sign that something is not right.

These are injuries to the skin and the underlying tissue due to prolonged pressure on the skin. Bedsores usually develop in these parts of the body:


Cook County Nursing Home Abuse LawyerAs anyone who has interacted with children can attest, children are bundles of energy. They love to run around and play. It seems like they never stop moving. As people age, they become less and less mobile. Many elderly people are confined to a wheelchair or their bed. They cannot move around or even shift their weight from one body part to another without help. Because being in one position for long periods of time can be very hard on the body and lead to bedsores, caregivers must regularly reposition elderly and sick individuals with low mobility.

Nursing home staff are expected to take the steps necessary to prevent bedsores in vulnerable residents. Unfortunately, some nursing homes neglect this crucial responsibility leading to painful, dangerous, and potentially deadly bedsores.

Pressure to the Skin Can Cause Wounds that Become Infected

When skin is under pressure for long periods of time, the skin is damaged and may even begin to die. This is called a bedsore or pressure ulcer. The best way to prevent bedsores is to avoid being in the same position for more than a couple of hours at most. Cushions and padding on wheelchairs can also help prevent bedsores.


IL nursing home abuseNursing home staff are expected to provide the medical care and day-to-day help that residents need to be safe and free from avoidable health concerns. When nursing home staff fail to provide adequate care to residents, the nursing home may be liable for the harm caused to the vulnerable residents. One telltale sign of nursing home neglect is reoccurring bed sores. If your loved one has been suffering from frequent bedsores or bedsores that are not properly treated, you may have a valid nursing home negligence claim.

What Are Bed Sores?

Decubitus ulcers, also called bed sores or pressure ulcers, are injuries to the skin caused by long periods of pressure. People who are bedridden, confined to a wheelchair, or cannot move about on their own are the most likely to develop bedsores. These painful wounds often develop on the buttocks, hips, and back but they may also develop in other areas of the body that are subject to prolonged pressure. When a bed sore is developing, the skin becomes discolored, painful, or itchy. If pressure to the developing bed sore is not relieved, it worsens into a blister-like wound. The bedsore may then become deeper and deeper as time goes on, exposing subcutaneous tissues or even muscle and bone. Bed sores are terribly painful and may also lead to complications such as cellulitis, infection of the bones, heart lining, or cerebrospinal fluid, and sepsis. Septic arthritis, abscesses, and heterotopic bone formations may also result from untreated bed sores.

Steps Nursing Home Staff Should Take to Prevent and Address Bed Sores

Nursing home staff should do everything in their power to prevent residents from developing these dangerous and painful injuries. Residents who cannot move themselves should be periodically repositioned so that body parts do not receive prolonged pressure. Residents with incontinence issues should never be left in a soiled diaper or on soiled sheets. If a resident uses a wheelchair, a foam or gel seat cushion can help prevent bed sores to the buttocks and thigh area. Staff should also help wheelchair-bound residents reposition themselves and switch from their wheelchair to the bed periodically. If a bed sore does develop, the resident should be closely monitored for signs of an infection or other complications. If the bedsore worsens, the resident should receive prompt medical attention.


Illinois nursing home neglect attorneysTragically, news stories involving nursing home abuse and neglect are not uncommon. It seems as if every week, there is another article describing the way nursing home staff mistreat the vulnerable residents in their care. According to one survey, a shocking 44 percent of nursing home residents reported that they had been abused at their facilities and 95 percent said that they had experienced neglect or seen other residents neglected. Even more disturbing, in another survey conducted of nursing home workers, more than 50 percent of nursing home staff admitted to neglecting or abusing residents within the prior year.

Staff members who neglect, mistreat, or abuse residents should be held accountable for their actions. If your loved one has suffered at the hands of nursing home staff, one way to hold the negligent party accountable is through a personal injury lawsuit.

Bedsores Must Be Treated Immediately

Decubitus ulcers, or bedsores, are painful wounds caused by unrelenting pressure on the skin. The first sign of a bedsore is often a red or purple discoloration on an area of the body which is exposed to long periods of pressure. If nursing home staff see evidence that a bedsore is developing, they should take immediate action to relieve pressure and watch for signs the wound is worsening. Bedsores that are not treated lead to open wounds which can quickly become extreme painful and dangerously infected. If the infection is not treated soon enough, it can spread to the blood or vital organs and cause death.

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