Pressure sores or pressure ulcers can arise where a patient’s skin is in continuous contact with a surface such as a bed or a wheelchair.
The risk of pressure sores is higher for those patients who are elderly, ill, immobile or diabetic. There are specific NHS guidelines which are designed to prevent pressure sores developing by providing an appropriate bed, making sure patients are moved regularly, and their skin is regularly inspected.
Pressure sores can cause a huge amount of unnecessary pain and suffering for patients. Also, if they are not treated quickly and correctly, they can lead to much more serious conditions, such as infection.
Pressure sores do not always indicate that the medical professional has been negligent. However, if they were preventable and/or not treated appropriately, this can indicate medical negligence. You may be able to bring a claim for compensation.
What Causes Pressure Sores?
There are a number of reasons for pressure sores. The sores generally develop on areas of the body with little body fat. This includes areas like the hips, heels and buttocks.
Pressure sores can also happen when the skin is compressed for a period of time, due to excessive period of sitting or lying. Blood can’t circulate which leads to a lack of oxygen and nutrients to that area of the body.
It is extremely important to treat pressure sores quickly. If treatment is not provided quickly then the cells can die resulting in pressure damage. Pressure damage can take effect as quickly as within 1 hour. That is why constant monitoring of patients who are lying or sitting still is vitally important.
Our solicitors have dealt with many pressure sore negligence cases. They find that some of the most common pressure sore cases relate to:
Misapplication of a plaster cast
Misapplication of bandages
Failing to carry out an adequate assessment
None of the above causes of pressure sores are acceptable. The condition can be prevented and treated in a simple way. If you or a loved one has suffered from unnecessary pain and suffering due to pressure sores contact us today for a free assessment of your claim.
How To Prevent Pressure Sores
The most effective way to prevent pressure sores developing is to ensure that immobile patients are regularly moved. This will relieve the pressure on the area of the skin. This can be done through manual moving or through an automatic bed.
This might sound like a simple preventative measure, but it is highly effective. Sadly, this routine measure is not always followed. This can be especially true of vulnerable. Regular checks often involved increased manpower, and as the NHS struggles with under-staffing, the problem seems to be getting worse.
If this simple measure has not been followed, you or your loved one may have been the victim of medical negligence.
Making a Pressure Sore Negligence Claim
If you or a family member have suffered a pressure sore whilst in hospital or during a residential care stay, you may be entitled to claim for compensation. Our specialist medical negligence lawyers can help. Simply contact us.