Pressure Sores and Bedsores Caused by Nursing Home in Minnesota: Minneapolis Nursing Home Malpractice Lawyer Explains

Pressure Sores Caused by Nursing Home Malpractice in Minnesota: Learn Your Rights Here


Pressure sores, bedsores, or pressure ulcers are some of the most excruciating injuries that a patient can endure.  They also lead to serious secondary conditions, such as infections or sepsis, which are also incredibly painful, debilitating, and life-threatening.  However, pressure sores are “never events” meaning that they should never occur under the proper standard of care.  Yet these are a common type of nursing home malpractice which seriously injuries or wrongfully kills far too many nursing home residents each year.  This is why I have dedicated two weeks to nursing home malpractice articles to help raise awareness and educate individuals on nursing home claims, including pressure sores today.


What is a Bedsore?  What is the Difference Between a Pressure Sore and Pressure Ulcer?


There are many names for essentially the same injury known as a bedsore.  The medical term is a “decubitus ulcer,” but it also encompasses what is commonly called a pressure sore, pressure ulcer, or bedsore.  While a pressure ulcer indicates that there is a break in the skin, this is not always the case as some pressure sores only leave redness but can still do extensive damage internally.


A pressure sore is a pressure injury that causes concentrated and localized damage to the skin and underlying tissue in an area on the body.  The injury is usually over a bony areas or common contact point with a bed, such as the lower back/buttocks and heels of the feet.  It is simply the wearing away of tissue due to pressure, commonly from a bedspring or wheelchair.


Some pressure sores can just show redness on the body but then have large damage underneath the skin.  Other pressure sores can start with an opening in the skin and damage internally.  When this open wounds are allowed to sit untreated, they can become infected and develop into sepsis.


There are several stages of pressure ulcers which could occur.  All nursing home staff who are providing medical care and treatment need to be aware of all of these conditions to guard against pressure ulcers.  The stages are the following:


Stage 1: This is the mildest stage which only affects the upper layer of skin.  Symptoms include pain, redness, itching, burning, warmth, and changes in color.  At this stage, serious damage can be avoided if the pressure sore is detected.


Stage 2: When the pressure sore breaks down the first layer of skin and starts to affect under it, the injury becomes a stage 2 pressure ulcer.  The symptoms are more obvious in that there will be broken skin, possibly blisters, and the area will be warm, red, swollen, or may be oozing.  At this stage, medical treatment is necessary to clean the wound, prevent infection, and stop the progression.


Stage 3: Once the bedsore has gone through the second layer of skin and into the fat tissue, it is a stage 3 pressure sore and a medical emergency.  The sore will be sunken into the patient and will have red edges, pus, oozing, and oder.  It will be swollen and inflamed.  Some tissue may even have turned black and be dead.  The risk of infection is very high, if it has not already occurred.  The pressure sore will be extremely painful and it will likely need to be surgically cleaned to cut away dead tissue.


Stage 4: A stage 4 pressure sore usually requires hospitalization.  This is when the bedsore has progressed into the muscle tissue and may be damaging tendons and ligaments.  The sore will be a deep crater, there will almost always be an infection, and there will be all of the signs of a stage 3 bedsore but magnified.  Sepsis is a very serious threat that a patient may already have.  The wound may be so large and deep, that bone may be visible.


Liability in a Pressure Ulcer Case


A pressure ulcer case is a type of Minnesota medical malpractice that can be difficult to prove if there are multiple injuries.  Generally, a nursing home resident will be discharged from a hospital or another facility back to the nursing home, but the pressure sore may not become obvious until the patient has been back at the nursing home for several days.  The nursing home will blame the hospital for causing the sending a patient with a pressure ulcer to the nursing home, whereas the hospital will claim they discharged the patient to the nursing home with no pressure ulcer.  Handling this type of case can be difficult because of this.


However, it is important to understand that pressure sores are “never events” and victims can push the blame on both the hospital and nursing home to sort it out.  Under the standard of care, a healthcare provider must guard against a pressure ulcer by performing routine examinations of the patient, taking diagnostics, and reviewing all complaints of pain or discomfort from the patient.  If able, a patient should be directed to walk around the facility several times to help prevent constant and excess pressure on the skin from beds or wheelchairs.


With proper care and treatment, a pressure sore should never occur.  Even if they do, properly guarding against a pressure ulcer will detect the condition at stage one when it is very treatable.  When nursing homes fail to do this, it can be very serious nursing home malpractice in Minnesota.


Minnesota Bedsore Lawyer: How a Minneapolis Nursing Home Malpractice Lawyer Can Help You


If you or a loved one have been injured due to the medical malpractice of a healthcare provider such as a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other health care service professional, call Kuhlman Law, LLC for a FREE consultation by dialing (612) 444-3374 to learn what your rights to compensation may be.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a thorough review of your case and advise you whether there may have been a serious medical mistake causing your injury.   There is no risk, and you do not owe us money unless we win your case.

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