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Pressure Sore Negligence

If you or your loved one has developed a pressure sore in hospital, are medical professionals to blame? In this article we take a closer look at this question, helping you to understand whether you have been the victim of a substandard level of medical care.

Preventative Care Plan For Pressure Sores

There are a number of predisposing factors that increase the risk of a hospital patient developing a pressure sore. These include reduced mobility (or medication that may impair movement), impaired mental status, old age, poor circulation (which can come from conditions such as anaemia and diabetes), poor nutrition, moisture on the skin and dehydration.

When a patient is admitted to hospital, medical professionals most commonly the nursing staff must consider whether or not a patient has any of these predisposing factors. If so, the patient should be deemed at risk of developing a pressure sore, and a preventative care plan implemented. The details of this plan will depend upon the patient and his or her condition, but it likely to involve:-

  • The use of a pressure relieving mattress;
  • Regular repositioning of the patient to avoid prolonged pressure upon one area of the body;
  • Frequent assessments of the skin to check for any tissue damage;
  • Ensuring the patient is kept hydrated and is encouraged to eat;
  • Re-assessment of the patient if his or her condition changes.

With these measures in place, it should be possible to prevent a pressure sore from developing. However, this is not always possible, particularly in very ill patients. But even so, these measures will at least promote the care of a pressure sore, preventing it from deteriorating into a severe open wound.

Failure to prevent and treat pressure sores

The key to the prevention of pressure sores therefore lies in the nurse's ability to assess and identify those patients are risk of developing pressure sores. Regular and thorough inspection in good light of all skin surfaces at least once a day for signs of redness, discolouration or hardening of the skin should be part of a patient's daily routine that is never broken.

If there is a failure to carry out an assessment and maintain regular inspections of the skin, and a patient does develop a pressure sore, serious questions must be raised about the standard of nursing care provided. Indeed, a reasonable healthcare professional should be aware of the risk factors, have the vigilance to detect early signs of skin damage, and implement a plan of care. If there is a failure to do any of these things and a patient suffers as a result, there will be a case of medical negligence.

Expert legal advice

If you or your loved one has developed a pressure sore because of medical negligence, you need to talk to a solicitor as soon as possible, as you could be entitled to compensation.

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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