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Foot Care In Hospital: Preventing Pressure Sores

Hospital patients are particularly vulnerable to developing pressures sores (sometimes known as pressure ulcers or bed sores) on their feet. Nurses on the ward should therefore ensure a patient's feet are checked on a regular basis and any injury quickly addressed. If there is a failure to do so and a patient does suffer a foot sore, there could be grounds for a medical negligence claim.

Pressure sores on the feet

Certain areas of the body are especially prone to pressure sores. One such area is the feet, or more specifically, the heels. This is because the heels have a layer of very thin skin, while the area itself represents a bony prominence with a small surface area. The combination of these factors makes the incidence of foot pressure sores relatively high.

All medical professionals should be aware of that heels are at risk of pressure sore development. Measures should consequently be taken to prevent the occurrence of such sores. This should include the following course of action:-

1. Initial assessment all patients admitted to hospital must be assessed with regard to pressure sore risk. A patient should be given a score (according to the Waterlow Assessment).

2. Immediate action for at risk patients if a patient is found to be at risk, he or she should immediately be given pressure relieving devices such as a special mattress.

3. Continuation of care during surgery if a patient is undergoing a long surgical operation, steps should be taken to minimise pressure on bony prominence. For example, by ensuring the feet are raised in the air.

4. Observation of pressure areas when in the ward, a patient should be closely monitored by nurses who should regularly check pressure areas for sign of damage. This should include removing TED stockings once or twice a day to check the heels. Nurses should also assist a patient to change position on a frequent basis.

5. Prompt treatment of tissue damage if any signs of tissue damage are visible, nurses should waste no time in treating the area. Pressure relieving devices should also be put in place, if not already present.

Foot pressure sores: does this amount to negligence?

If the above course of action is taken, medical professionals will have taken reasonable steps to prevent a pressure sore from developing. Thus if a patient does subsequently suffer a foot sore, it may not amount to a substandard level of care.

However, if there is a failure to comply with any of the following, medical professionals could be held responsible for a patient's pressure sore:-

  • Carry out an initial risk assessment;
  • Provide pressure relieving devices for at risk patients;
  • Maintain pressure sore care during surgery;
  • Observe pressure areas on the ward;
  • Provide prompt treatment for tissue damage.

Make a claim today

If you have suffered a pressure sore on your foot (or on both feet) in hospital which you feel could have been prevented with appropriate medical care, contact us today about making a medical negligence claim.

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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