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Medical Negligence
Hospital Acquired Pressure Ulcers

Hospital Acquired Pressure Ulcers

Hospital acquired pressure ulcers are sometimes unavoidable. However, we unfortunately see many cases in which pressure ulcers could have been easily prevented, if only the medical team had followed hospital procedure. If this has happened to you, you need to seek expert legal advice without delay.

Preventing Pressure Ulcers in Hospital

Every NHS Trust will have certain procedures in place to prevent patients developing hospital acquired pressure ulcers. These should be closely followed from the very start of a patient's stay, and will begin with a pressure risk assessment. This is to be performed within two hours of a patient being admitted. A score will then be calculated to determine how likely a patient is to develop a pressure ulcer while in hospital. This is known as a Waterlow score, and can be explained as follows:-

  • A score of 10 to 14 the patient is at risk;
  • A score of 15 to 20 the patient is at high risk;
  • A score of 20 and over the patient is at very high risk.

The higher a patient's Waterlow score, the more vigilant medical staff must be in examining skin integrity. It may be deemed necessary to put in place preventative measures from the outset for example, a pressure relieving mattress. The nursing team should use their professional opinion to decide whether a patient requires this form of care.

Nevertheless, it is not just patients with a high Waterlow score who must be closely monitored. Indeed, all patients should enjoy a standard of care which adequately reduces the risk of hospital acquired pressure damage. Nursing staff must therefore:-

  • Assist patients to change position and minimise pressure on bony prominences;
  • Observe pressure areas for signs of damage;
  • Initiate appropriate care if damage is identified;
  • Use pressure relieving aids in beds/chairs if necessary;
  • Provide pressure area care, such as good skin hygiene.

Neglect to Follow Procedure

If hospital medical staff fail to adhere to the procedure regarding pressure sore prevention and management, then the standard of care will have fallen below an unacceptable standard. In such an event, the patient will have been the victim of medical negligence, and will be legally entitled to make a claim.

Making a Medical Negligence Claim

If you have sustained a hospital acquired pressure ulcer and you believe this to be the direct result of a substandard level of care, you need to seek legal assistance. That is because you may be able to make a medical negligence claim. If successful, you will be awarded compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity you have endured. You will also be able to recover any finances you have lost because of your injury, such as a loss of earnings and the cost of additional medical treatment.

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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