Medical Mistake Claims - Simpson Millar LLP
Bedsores, Pressure Ulcers - Medical Negligence claims

Pressure Ulcer Negligence Claims

If you have experienced an extended stay in hospital, you will be aware of the time constraints that can lead to inadequate treatment. Whilst our healthcare service does its best to deliver great care, sometimes it falls short. One common problem that patients encounter is pressure sores.

A pressure sore can arise at any age, and the most common cause is continuous bed rest and being left in one position for long periods of time which cuts off the blood supply to that particular area. If you have experienced a pressure ulcer, you will be familiar with the discomfort they can cause.

Pressure ulcers have 4 grades:

  • Grade 1 pressure ulcers are superficial. They cause discolouration of the skin and are uncomfortable
  • Grade 2 ulcers can look like a superficial graze or blister. They can take on an ulcer-like appearance, and expose pain-related nerve endings. As a result, they can be very painful
  • Grade 3 pressure ulcers break through to the bottom layers of the skin and can expose the underlying fat. These ulcers are far less painful, but are at high risk of infection
  • Grade 4 pressure ulcers move through the underlying fatty tissue and can expose the muscle or bone. They are difficult to heal, and can lead to serious infections

Pressure ulcers often develop on the areas that take the pressure when we sit or lie down, such as the:

  • Hips
  • Buttocks
  • Base of the spine
  • Heels
  • Ankles
  • Shoulders, especially where bony prominences aren't protected by much fat

Bringing a Pressure Sore Claim

Pressure sores are extremely painful and debilitating. The development of a pressure ulcer whilst in hospital care should not have occurred and falls below the level of care that you should expect. If you have undergone a period in hospital, the medical team caring for you had an obligation to assess your pressure ulcer risk and manage that risk accordingly by taking into account any significant pre-disposing factors that you already had prior to your admission as well as complying with the hospital’s own policies and completing universally accepted assessments such as the Waterlow scale. Upon assessing your pressure ulcer risk they should have formed a pressure-alleviating plan. This would have involved turning you and re-distributing pressure at regular intervals. If this did not happen, and you developed an ulcer as a result, this may be due to negligence.

Development of a pressure ulcer whilst in hospital should not happen. Our team of solicitors have the expertise and experience to guide you through the claims procedure. We are always happy to listen to your concerns, and will help you determine whether you can seek compensation from those who were meant to be caring for you. With our strong medical background and sympathetic approach, we can help you obtain a financial settlement that will help with any future care needs that you may have.

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