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Decubitis Ulcer

Definition - What does Decubitis Ulcer mean?

Decubitus ulcer, also known as a pressure sore or bed sore, frequently appears on the back, buttocks, hips and ankles of individuals who are immobile. They are most common in the disabled and the elderly who cannot move on their own and rely on others for their care. For instance, if an elderly patient is in a nursing home and is not moved for long periods of time they can develop decubitus ulcers.

Personal injury and decubitus ulcers

All medical facilities, including nursing homes, are required to provide care which meets state and federal regulations. This means a nursing home or hospital must ensure their patients are not neglected or abused. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and some patients, who have not received adequate care, may develop decubitus ulcers that could have been prevented.

Common abuse leading to decubitis ulcers

Leaving patients in one position- lying or sitting- especially if they are lying too long in clothing soaked in urine or feces may cause open wounds to develop, leading to decubitus ulcers. These actions can be considered abuse and negligent. Standards of care for any medical professional requires that residents have their daily living and medical needs met. Medical professionals who do not prevent or properly treated decubitis ulcers can be held liable.

Professional care includes frequently changing the resident's position, bathing them, changing their clothes, giving them the proper medication, feeding them good food, changing their bandages and ensuring they receive proper medical care.

Unfortunately, if your loved one has been neglected in a nursing home or their decubitis ulcers have not been properly treated, this can lead to serious complications, including other more serious medical issues such as anemia, sepsis, amyloidosis, osteomyelitis, bladder distension, gangrene, urethral fistula, autonomic dysreflexia, and infections.

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