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Pressure Sore Death

Pressure Sore Death

If your family member has died due to pressure sore complications, you could be entitled to pursue a claim on behalf of your loved one's estate. For more information, contact a medical negligence solicitor today.

Pressure sores

A pressure sore is when the tissue is placed under continuous pressure, restricting the flow of blood to the tissue. The lack of blood and oxygen will cause the tissue to break down, resulting in an open sore on the skin. This wound will grow in size the longer pressure is exerted.

Pressure sores are more prevalent in a healthcare environment as many patients have restricted mobility, either due to injury, illness or surgery. If a patient is unable to change position of their own accord, certain areas of the body will be placed under prolonged pressure, leading to a pressure sore.

Pressure sores in hospital

Pressure sores are not supposed to occur in a healthcare environment. They are deemed to be a 'never event', meaning they are preventable incidents that can be avoided with the appropriate care.

To avoid a pressure sore from developing, a patient should be risk assessed shortly after being admitted. If a patient is thought to be at risk, measures should be put in place to help prevent the tissue from breaking down.

For the duration of a patient's stay in hospital, nursing staff should monitor their pressure areas, taking action if any visual changes to the skin can be seen. The tissue should be regularly checked whether or not a patient is thought to be at risk.

Pressure sores and medical negligence

However, there are times when a patient will develop a pressure sore while staying in hospital. This will not always be considered negligent, as it may be that medical practitioners did all that was possible to prevent a pressure sore, but the tissue broke down anyway. As long as timely action was taken to treat the sore and minimise further injury, the standard of care will be deemed reasonable.

Nevertheless, there are occasions when a patient develops a pressure sore, and this remains unnoticed by medical practitioners. Consequently the sore becomes increasingly severe, allowing bacteria to enter the body and cause an infection. If a pressure sore is not diagnosed and treated before an infection occurs, the standard of care will be unacceptable.

Pressure sore sepsis and death

An infected pressure sore can result in terrible complications for the patient concerned, as the infection can spread to the blood. This is called sepsis and may lead to septic shock, organ failure and even death.

If such terrible complications arise because medical practitioners failed to provide an acceptable standard of care, there will be grounds for a compensation claim.

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