A wound vac is a device which is used to help heal serious bed sores, such as Stage 3 and Stage 4 pressure ulcers. Its use must be ordered by the resident’s attending physician or a wound care doctor.
The wound vac reduces the pressure from the atmosphere over the wound, and this alone helps with the healing of the wound. Additionally, it also tends to pull the edges of the wound closer together and promote healing that way also. Many wound vacs will come equipped with a pump which pulls fluid and bacteria out of the wound bed. This helps avoid complications such infections like cellulitis and osteomyelitis.
The use of a wound vac is a sign that aggressive steps are being taken to help a bad pressure ulcer or other type of skin breakdown heal. Many facilities are reluctant to let family members see the full extent of a skin breakdown, claiming to be concerned about the dignity of the resident. When a wound vac is being brought into use, families should recognize that this is a sign that the underlying problem is severe and demand further information.
Even though the use of a wound vac is a proper step to try to heal a bed sore, there are a number of ways that the use of a wound vac can become an issue in a nursing home abuse and neglect case:
- Failure of the nursing staff to follow the physician orders for its use;
- Failure to have the proper wound vac equipment called for by the doctor’s order;
- Failure to properly apply the wound vac to the bed sore.
If you have had a parent or other loved one suffer injury as a result of the development of bed sores, contact our experienced Chicago nursing home lawyers to learn more about what your rights are. The initial consultation is free, and there is no obligation to hire our firm if you do contact us.