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Have You Developed Pressure Sores During An Epidural?

If you have developed a pressure sores after having been given epidural anaesthesia, you could be in a position to make a medical negligence claim. For more information, you need to contact a solicitor without delay, as you could be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering.

The risk of pressure sores during an epidural

Healthy individuals are very unlikely to suffer a pressure sore because they are able to move around to enable the circulation of blood to all areas of the body. On the other hand, someone who is rendered immobile will have little choice but to remain in one position.

However, if you remain in one position for too long, certain areas of your body will be subject to unrelieved pressure. This will usually occur over bony prominences such as the sacrum, buttocks, hips, heels, ankles, elbows and back of the head. Gradually the blood supply to these areas will become disrupted, causing the tissue to be starved of oxygen. Soon the tissue will begin to break down and a pressure sore will develop.

Having an epidural therefore increases the risk of pressure sores because the patient in question will be temporarily paralysed from the waist down. During a prolonged labour (where epidurals are commonly used) a woman will be unable to move or even to feel her legs. If left in the supine position (lying down) her heels, buttocks and sacrum will bear the brunt of her body weight. Unless this pressure is alleviated, these areas will be denied oxygen, while waste products will also build up. As the blood supply continues to be distorted, the tissue will deteriorate and the first signs of a pressure sore will develop.

Preventing pressure sores during an epidural

Nevertheless, this should not be allowed to happen in a healthcare environment. Medical professionals should be aware of the risks posed to patients with altered sensation in their limbs. This means anyone with an epidural in situ should be closely monitored for tissue damage. Measures should also be put in place to reduce the risk of a pressure sore developing. This might include the use of a pressure relieving mattress and turning a patient into a different position at regular intervals.

What action can you take?

If doctors and nurses fail to take appropriate steps to prevent pressure sores developing during an epidural, the standard of care will have fallen below have acceptable level. If this has happened to you, you should make a complaint to the NHS Trust responsible. You also need to speak to solicitor about the level of treatment you received, as you could be the victim of medical negligence. This means you will be entitled to claim compensation for the damages you have suffered.

Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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