leg injuries, infection and purple bruising

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by SitsThere, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. SitsThere

    SitsThere Registered User

    Jan 7, 2013
    68
    Mum has been banging into things and tearing her skin(which is like tissue paper) for some years now but in the last fortnight it's taken a new and more worrying form. She cut her leg in her room at the nursing home - how, she can't remember - and the district nurse has been looking after it as usual, but the wound is now infected and the doctor has put her on antibiotics. Mysteriously, the other shin/calf is also covered in spectacular red, black, blue and purple blotches which seem to cover more of her leg every day. The GP is aware and doesn't seem concerned but I haven't seen her legs looking like this before - there's also a lot of fluid-like swelling in the foot and toes and strangest of all, the leg feels cold to the touch and not hot as you'd expect with an infection.

    Mum has no idea where the apparent injuries are coming from but she is complaining of 'terrible nights' and I am wondering if she is injuring herself while walking about in the night. The nursing home staff are concerned about the infected leg but haven't said anything to me about night time wandering. Has anyone else experienced this ? Mum is in (we think) late middle stage mixed dementia and until recently in fairly good spirits, but the appearance of the legs is obviously worrying her and to be frank it worries me too.
     
  2. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    8,042
    Hi Sits there

    Sorry to read about your Mum's legs.

    It sounds like she may have a circulatory problem in the other leg, not an infection. The bruising may not be due to wandering unless the staff can confirm that. Do you know if they have checked the pulses in her feet?

    I would ask for another GP visit re. the newly bruised leg and express your concerns.
    Best wishes
    Sue
     
  3. Karjo

    Karjo Registered User

    Jan 11, 2012
    481
    I have no idea what this is but i think you should ask for some clarification as to what the doctor thinks this may be. He may not be concerned but you certainly are and so would I be if it was my Mum. it may be antibiotics will work or it may be circulation and nothing can be done but either way your poor Mum may be in pain which needs addressing if she is having "terrible nights".
    is she eating and drinking? I really wish nursing home staff weren't quite so vague when we have concerns. I suppose they cannot get the doctor out for every little thing and probably the GP doesnt let the nursing home staff know what he thinks, and then there are handovers , some better than others, when things can get missed or misinterpreted or are down to the quality of the staff who are on duty or time constraints etc but it all ends up with so much vagueness and then we feel like trouble makers when we question further. We dont want to be fuss pots, but its the vagueness that is troubling - does it mean they just don't know whats wrong, have forgotten to do something, we are making a mountain of a mole hill, we are rushing things, they dont want to tell us because its bad news? Who knows but sometimes I think the professionals discuss everything amongs themselves, conclude how it should be dealt with and then just get on with it and not realise the family may be really worried and want to be told but may be scared to ask. Its all about communication I suppose.
    I find the home mum is now in so much better in informing me now and I can always find the nurse but realise now the last one was not so good in comparison. There are still little mysteries every now and again but overall much less vagueness.mind you she is on one to one care!
     
  4. Karjo

    Karjo Registered User

    Jan 11, 2012
    481
    Sorry just another thought.
    Have the nursing home definately told the GP about the other leg, ie the one he is not treating with antibiotics? I know how easily these things can get confused. Eg nurse at handover says to other nurse that GP has given Mrs...... antibiotics for her infected leg. Family then ask about her leg and the bruising, nurse says thats ok GP is dealing with it and she is on antibiotics, but actually the GP is completey unaware of the new other leg problem.
     
  5. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,838
    Suffolk
    Like sue, my immediate thought was a problem with the circulation. Get the pulses checked ASAP. Are her toes a good colour? If not, it's probably circulation, but get pulses checked.
     
  6. opaline

    opaline Registered User

    Nov 13, 2014
    182
    Yep, I too think it's a problem with her circulation, my mum's the same, xx
     
  7. SitsThere

    SitsThere Registered User

    Jan 7, 2013
    68
    ok thanks everyone. Tomorrow my niece is visiting and she is a GP so am going to ask her about it and she will look at both legs. I don't know much about circulation problems so it will be easier to talk to staff about it when better informed.

    Mum is eating and drinking fine btw.
     

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