What Is A Bed Sore?
Bed sores, also known as pressure sores/ulcers, are lesions or wounds which develop around prominent bony areas like the hips, lower back, tailbone, heels, back of the head and elbows.
As bed sores progress, they are graded on severity. Grading begins at 1, the least severe, through to grade 4, which indicates a wound that has penetrated to the bone. When allowed to progress to this level bedsores rarely heal, and consequently have ramifications on the patient’s quality of life, which may be down to negligence on the part of the medical professional.
What Causes Bed Sores?
Bed sores develop where bony areas remain under extended pressure, usually when patients lie in the same position for extended periods of time. During this time, the pressure may partially – or completely – restrict blood flow, resulting in tissue damage and cell death. This causes open wounds which are prone to infection.
The likelihood of bed sore development is increased where skin is exposed to unsanitary conditions, or where increased sweating occurs.
The open wounds caused by bedsores can lead to the contraction of other illnesses by infection. In the worst case, this may be fatal.
Why Should I Enquire If I Develop Pressure Sores?
It’s widely held that in 95% of cases, pressure sores can be avoided with proper medical care and monitoring. According to NICE pressure ulcer guidelines, patients at risk should be frequently turned to prevent bed sores from forming.
Further care guidelines state that where pressure ulcers appear, they should be monitored closely, with thorough checks occurring at least once a week. By making a bed sore claim with Asons, damages may be acquired to help cover the costs of future treatment.
How Widespread are Pressure Sores?
Bed sores and pressure ulcers are a growing problem. In 2010, 27,000 patients died with evidence of bed sores – an increase of 50% on the previous decade. Up to 20% of nursing home patients are thought to suffer from pressure sores, whilst 30% of the general community are also held to be affected.
NHS guidelines are clear on the preventative treatment methods for bed sores. Where bed sores appear, they usually demonstrate that carers haven’t been paying the patient enough attention, or have given a misdiagnosis. If these cases are left unchallenged, treatment standards are unlikely to improve.
Who’s Most at Risk?
Healthy people rarely experience serious pressure sores. When they become uncomfortable, they can simply move, restoring blood flow to areas previously obstructed.
Those unable to move without assistance and confined to a bed or chair are at much greater risk. For this reason, anyone with a high BMI, recovering from major surgery, or suffering from sensitivity or limited awareness are vastly more likely to develop pressure sores due to inability to move, or reduced capacity to recognise arising problems.
Similarly, other factors such as unsanitary conditions and sweating can exacerbate bed sore issues, so patients who are incontinent should be closely monitored.
How Are Pressure Sores Treated?
Where a bed sore has been allowed to form, treatment consists of dead tissue removal and the control of infection. Skin tissue requires vital nutrients, and so patient’s diets are often altered to ensure an appropriate supply. Further precautions are taken to ensure no further pressure is applied to the wound, often utilising special mattresses with greater supportive capabilities.
With any open wound, infection is an issue. In the case of bed sores, the complications can be increasingly severe as the wound may penetrate protective soft tissue. Sepsis is a problem, and in some cases gangrene and even renal failure can occur.
Our Bed Sore And Pressure Sore Compensation Claim Expertise
Errors arising from medical negligence cases may hold dire repercussions for patients. At Asons, we understand what medical malpractice is, and the detrimental effect it has on victims. The consequences may not just be physical – potential financial difficulties where time is taken off work must also be considered, and the ensuing stress may elicit negative psychological consequences.
We know that victims and their families are often hesitant to come forward with their medical claims. As medical negligence solicitors, it’s our job to do everything within our means to make the process as straightforward as possible.
As with any claim, you may be worried about the potential costs of pursuing your clinical negligence case. To address this common concern, we have devised a variety of options to help you. We aid you in acquiring all the assistance that you are entitled to, whilst managing resulting compensation in the most beneficial way possible. We must remind you to be quick, however, as there are time limits in place for making claims of this kind.
We deal with medical negligence claims on a regular basis. If you are suffering as a result of substandard treatment, you may be eligible to make a claim. Our Medical Negligence Solicitors will work to gather all appropriate paperwork and documentation, whilst speaking to the parties involved, substantiating your claim.