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Pressure Ulcer Examination Guidelines

Our Michigan pressure ulcer attorneys at Buckfire & Buckfire P.C. represent patients who have developed bed sores, pressure sores, and decubitus ulcers during an admission to a Michigan hospital.  We have obtained significant settlements and jury verdicts in hospital pressure ulcer lawsuits.  In cases involving death due to complications of a pressure ulcer, we will file a Michigan wrongful death lawsuit for the surviving family members.

Common Pressure Ulcer Medical Questions

The physicians and nursing staff at the hospital are required to determine whether a patient is at risk for developing pressure sores.  This includes a thorough evaluation of the patient’s medical conditions, mobility, and measures of sensation throughout the body.  A proper medical examination should include:

Where is the ulcer located?  Hip and buttock are most common locations, also referred to as the coccyx or tailbone.  Lower extremities, like heels and ankles, are the next most frequent sites.

How deep is the ulcer?  Treatment choices are influenced by depth of ulcer.  Note that pressure is greatest at a bony prominence decreasing gradually towards the periphery.  Once a small area of skin breakdown has occurred, a large cavity and extensive undermining may be present. Wound care specialists usually measure and photograph the ulcer during the treatment process.

Is purulent drainage present and/or a foul odor?   When these are present, the medical staff should suspect osteomyelitis, cellulitis, or an abscess and order appropriate tests to confirm this diagnosis.

Is eschar or necrotic tissue present?  This is a blackening or discoloration of the skin and requires more aggressive treatment strategies

Is there soilage from urinary or fecal incontinence?  If yes, these factors might suggest the need for debridement or diversionary procedures to optimize wound healing

Is there evidence of spasticity or contractures? Both can contribute to pressure sore formation by repeatedly exposing tissues to pressure through flexion of a joint.        

A thorough examination of the hospital patient’s pressure ulcer is absolutely required in order to implement an aggressive treatment strategy.  When a patient develops a pressure sore in the hospital or if the patient is not properly assessed or treated for this condition, it can give rise to a hospital negligence lawsuit.  The injuries and damages from pressure ulcers can be severe and even lead to death.

Contact Our Michigan Pressure Ulcer Lawyers

If you or a family member developed a bed sore, decubitus ulcer, or any other type of pressure ulcer while admitted to a Michigan hospital, call our medical negligence lawyers now at (800) 606-1717 to discuss your case.  We will handle your case under our No Fee Promise, which means there are not legal fees or costs whatsoever unless we obtain a settlement or recovery for you.  There are strict time deadlines for filing case so do not delay.  Call now!

Lawrence J. Buckfire
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