Stage 2 Bedsores
A stage 2 bedsore can occur when a stage 1 bedsore is not detected or properly treated. While it is more severe than a stage 1 bedsore, it can still be treated easily, in most cases. Most patients who are diagnosed with stage 2 bedsores make fast and full recoveries. Without proper care, however, a stage 2 bedsore can decline into stage 3 or 4. Those who are the most at risk of bedsores are the elderly, especially in nursing homes that are guilty of neglecting their residents. A Los Angeles nursing home abuse lawyer can help you evaluate your legal options and proceed with your case.
What Causes Bedsores?
A bedsore is also known as a pressure sore or pressure ulcer, as it is caused by pressure being exerted on one part of the body for a prolonged period. It earned the nickname “bedsore” because it is common among people who must remain in bed or immobile for long periods of time. The pressure of a bed, chair or another surface against an area of the body can reduce the flow of blood and oxygen enough to damage or destroy the tissues. This can create pressure ulcers or sores. Nursing home residents that are the victims of neglect are particularly vulnerable to developing a pressure injury.
Bedsores are organized into 4 stages, from least to most severe. Stage 2 is on the milder side of the scale. It describes a pressure ulcer that has not yet reached the deeper layers of skin tissues or fat. If it is not promptly and correctly treated, however, a stage 2 ulcer can progress into more severe stages. The deeper the sore goes into the tissues, the more difficult it is to treat and the longer it takes to heal.
Signs of a Stage 2 Bedsore
A stage 2 bedsore affects the top layer (the epidermis) and second layer (the dermis) of skin but does not damage the deeper tissues, such as fat or muscle. At stage 2, a bedsore can break the epidermis, and may resemble either an open or intact blister. The wound may look red or pink and ooze pus or clear fluids. The surrounding area can be swollen, irritated or red and feel warm. A stage 2 bedsore is generally painful for the patient.
The signs of a stage 2 bedsore can be summarized as:
- A blister on the skin, either intact or ruptured
- Red, discolored or irritated skin around the blister
- Warmth radiating from the area
- Moisture from pus or fluids on the sore
- Pain and discomfort for the patient
A stage 2 bedsore comes with a higher risk of health complications than a stage 1 bedsore due to the possibility of the pressure ulcer becoming an open wound. If the blister ruptures, it can invite infections. If left untreated, an infection could spread to the blood or bones, possibly causing a life-threatening illness known as sepsis. It is critical for a caretaker or nursing home staff member to monitor an at-risk person for signs of a bedsore and to take immediate action if a sore is detected.
Who Is Most at Risk?
Anyone who is immobile for long periods of time is at risk of bedsores. A hospital patient or a nursing home resident who is immobile due to an injury or disability is at risk if he or she does not receive proper care, such as being repositioned frequently throughout the day by a caregiver. Friction between the skin and fabric, such as bedsheets, can also cause a pressure sore. Damp or moist skin is the most vulnerable to damage.
Any place on the body that connects with a bed or wheelchair could develop a pressure ulcer, such as the back of the head, the shoulders, the buttocks and the backs of the feet. The elderly are at an increased risk due to having thinner and more fragile skin. This is especially true if the elderly individual is not getting proper nutrition or fluids. If the individual is in an environment where he or she is being mistreated, neglected or malnourished, this increases the risk of a stage 1 bedsore going unnoticed and untreated and progressing to stage 2.
How Do You Treat Stage 2 Bedsores?
Treating a stage 2 bedsore starts with identifying and eliminating the cause of the pressure ulcer. This will prevent the ulcer from getting worse and the patient from developing further bedsores. Proper treatment of the sore itself requires the following steps:
- Removing pressure from the area by repositioning the patient regularly, propping up the affected part of the patient’s body, and using special mattresses and bedding products.
- Using proper wound care techniques, clean the affected area gently with warm water and soap. Then, keep the area clean and dry while it heals.
- Keep the sore covered loosely with moist gauze or a see-through dressing.
- Make sure the individual has a nutritious diet that is high in protein, vitamins and minerals, and is getting enough fluids.
Caretakers should monitor the patient and inspect the area at least twice per day during recovery. If the sore continues to worsen or the patient experiences health complications, such as an infection, further medical attention is necessary.
How Long Does it Take to Recover From a Stage 2 Pressure Sore?
The average recovery time for a stage 2 pressure sore ranges from 3 days to 3 weeks. It is critical to detect and treat a stage 2 bedsore immediately. If left untreated, it can progress into a more severe ulcer – stage 3 or 4. At these more advanced stages, it may take a few months or even years for a patient to heal. Some patients may never heal completely from a severe bedsore.
Stage 2 Bedsores in Nursing Homes
Bedsores are often associated with neglect, as they can be prevented if someone with mobility issues is properly cared for. In a nursing home setting, for example, bedsores will typically only occur if the nurse or staff member responsible for repositioning the resident regularly fails to stick to the proper care schedule. Other types of nursing home neglect and abuse can also increase the risk of bedsores, such as a lack of proper nutrition, dehydration, and damp or dirty skin.
If your loved one developed a stage 2 bedsore while in a nursing home, your family may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the facility for failing to properly care for your family member. A Los Angeles elder abuse lawyer can investigate to determine if the stage 2 bedsore could have been prevented with better care. If so, the victim may be entitled to financial compensation for related losses, including medical bills and pain and suffering.
For more information about bringing a lawsuit for a stage 2 bedsore in Los Angeles, contact Rose, Klein & Marias for a free consultation.