Deep Tissue V. Pressure Injury

In nursing home negligence the nursing home often will try to argue that pressure ulcers are actually deep tissue injuries. This argument is essentially a claim that the injury was caused by something other than pressure building up on the area. This however is a very flawed argument, as deep tissue injuries and pressure ulcers are essentially the same thing. This is because both are caused by unrelieved pressure.

Deep Tissue V. Pressure Injury / The Steele Law FirmThe US National Library of Medicine defines pressure ulcers as, “an area of skin that breaks down when something keeps rubbing or pressing against the skin.”[1] They list old age, wheel-chair use, and extended bed stays as risk factors for developing them. For many nursing home residents these risk factors are everyday realities. The Library of Medicine states that those on bed rest should be checked for pressure ulcers and moved every two hours to ensure they do not develop.

Deep tissue ulcers are essentially a type of pressure ulcer, as they are caused by unrelieved pressure. The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel lists pressure ulcers as one of the types of pressure ulcers.[2] The main difference lies in the fact that pressure ulcers are normally surface wounds that grow increasingly deep as they worsen. Deep tissue ulcers involve damage to the underlying soft tissue. This also makes them more difficult to detect.

The idea that nursing homes are not responsible for deep tissue injuries has been debunked. They are simply another type of pressure ulcer that can easily be prevented. While it may not be fair to say that they exactly the same, the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel has clearly determined that deep tissue ulcers are simply a subset of pressure ulcers.