Should family members enquire about South Carolina nursing home resident’s bed sore?

South Carolina – December 28, 2021

Nursing home injuries commonly include unsuspected dangers of bed or pressure sores from a resident remaining in one position too long in bed or on a chair.  They are formally known as decubitus ulcers and tend to develop when the blood supply to skin is cut off because of pressure on the skin or staying in one position too long.  Decubitus ulcers are very preventable when nursing home staff and residents are aware of the problem and proper care is delivered in a timely manner. Quality of care may determine if the sore has a chance to heal or it becomes advanced, causing further sickness or even death.  Families should be diligent in surveying their resident loved one for ulcers to make certain they are handled in the appropriate way.  If a resident or family member has voiced concerns regarding a pressure sore and the staff do not take measures to correct it, it may be time to speak with legal counsel to discuss options for a cure to the situation.

Title IV resident protection.

The Nursing Home Reform Act under Title IV of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 outlines the specific duty of care recommended for residents of long term living. Families and loved ones who believe that a nursing home is not treating its residents with quality care and respect according to the guidelines of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid should contact a nursing home attorney to communicate the concerns on a resident’s behalf when negligence, or abuse is suspected.

Bed sore (decubitus ulcer).

Family members who are concerned with the presence of a bedsore that seems to be getting worse should contact an experienced nursing home attorney for guidance on next steps to correct the questionable standard of care given by staff members.  There are four stages of classification for bedsores:

  • Stage I. Ulcer begins to develop in an area of redness on skin. Treatment by staff members should occur in a timely fashion to avoid worsening of the condition.
  • Stage II. A blister or scrape turns into an open sore or breakdown of the tissue. Irritation and discoloration may occur around the wounded area and care must be given to keep sore from becoming a Stage III or IV ulcer.
  • Stage III. Continued breakdown of the skin results in a wound developing into a shallow crater with tissue loss and damage beneath the surface of the skin.
  • Stage IV. A crater in the skin gets deeper and can damage the muscle or bone, with possible damage to tendons and joints.  This stage may lead to extensive damage, significant pain, and serious infections that can cause bacterial inflammation of the bones, or develop into sepsis of the blood.

Prevention is the key to avoiding decubitus ulcers and nursing home caregivers should make sure residents have clean skin, clean bedding, are moved at least every two hours, and have scheduled skin checks by staff.  Residents or families who have suffered harms due to poor care of bedsores should speak to a nursing home abuse attorney in South Carolina to see if they can access damage compensation.

Seek legal counsel.

Legal action may be taken against a nursing home and/or the treating medical professional because of acts of negligence that cause, or exacerbate existing health conditions, or place residents in danger are deviations from the Nursing Home Reform Act  rights.  Call an experienced attorney at the McDougall Law Offices, to discuss concerns if you believe a loved one is being mistreated at a nursing home in South Carolina.


McDougall Law Firm, LLC

115 Lady’s Island Commons
Beaufort, SC 29907

Phone: 843.379.7000








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