CHICAGO, IL – Bed sores, or pressure ulcers, may seem like a minor skin irritation at first glance, but when its overlooked, bed sores can evolve into a life-threatening condition known as sepsis.
One or more ulcers may develop if you lie in bed and don’t change positions often enough or if you sit for extended periods of time without moving; however, it’s important to note bed sores can develop in other ways. For instance, one can form under your arms if you use crutches improperly or behind your ear if your glasses are too tight.
Sepsis, often called blood poisoning, if your body’s life-threatening response to an infection. Sepsis is a medical emergency that requires a rapid diagnosis and treatment. Sepsis kills and disabilities millions and requires early suspicion and treatment for survival.
How do bed sores lead to sepsis?
Bed sores typically develop when prolonged pressure on the skin limits blood flow to specific areas of the body, particularly on bony or prominent areas such as the elbows, heels and sacrum. One or more ulcers may develop if you lie in bed and don’t change positions often enough or if you sit for extended periods of time without moving; however, it’s important to note bed sores can develop in other ways. For instance, one can form under your arms if you use crutches improperly or behind your ear if your glasses are too tight.
Stages of Sepsis
The development of bed sores typically goes through four stages:
- Stage 1: The skin appears red and irritated and feels warm, but is not broken. This stage is reversible with prompt care.
- Stage 2: The skin breaks open or forms a blister, creating a shallow wound while the infection risk begins to increase.
- Stage 3: The wound depends, affecting underlying muscles, tissue and sometimes bone. The risk of infection is even higher than before.
- Stage 4: The most severe stage where the ulcer extends deeply into muscle and bone, making it extremely susceptible to infection.
Open bed sores, especially those in advanced stages, create an entry point for bacteria, which leads to infection. When the human body detects an infection, it normally releases chemicals to fight it. In sepsis, this response becomes dysfunctional and counter-productive. If you have a compromised immune system and poor circulation, it makes it especially difficult for someone to fight off infections effectively, making sepsis more likely.
Bed sores are preventable with appropriate care and is critical to avoid the potential aggression to sepsis.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bedsores occur in more than 1 in 10 residents in nursing homes. When a nursing home neglects a resident who can’t easily move on their own or advocate for their own health, it may lead to bed sores and sepsis.
Pursuing Legal Action to Get Justice
If you believe you or your loved ones legal rights have been violated, contact the Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys at the Dinizulu Law Group today to advocate on your behalf. The initial consultation is free of charge and works on a contingency fee basis which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. The Illinois statute of limitations is two years and a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date. It’s important to call right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.
Our firm will fight for your right to receive compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, rehabilitative care and other damages related to nursing home abuse and neglect. Protect your rights and contact our firm today by calling (312) 384-1920.