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Pressure Sores and Sepsis

Pressure Sores and Sepsis

If left untreated a pressure sore can lead to sepsis, whereby bacteria enter the body and spread to the bloodstream. If this happens to a patient in a hospital or care home, there may be a case of neglect. Contact us today to find out more.

Advanced pressure sores

Pressures sores happen when an area of tissue is placed under prolonged pressure, restricting the flow of blood. The tissue will then become deficient in oxygen, causing it to break down. Eventually an open sore will develop on the surface of the skin.

There are varying grades of pressure sores, ranging from grade one sores (the most minor) to grade four sores (the most severe). Someone with a grade four pressure sore will have a deep open wound and extensive tissue necrosis. The underlying bone and muscles may also be damaged.

Septic pressure sores

When a pressure sore leads to an open wound, it gives bacteria the opportunity to enter the body and cause an infection. The more advanced the pressure sore, the higher the risk of infection.

This can result in life-threatening complications for the individual in question, particularly if he/she is already unwell. This is because the infection may reach the bloodstream, a condition called sepsis.

Sepsis causes the body's immune system to overreact, leading to swelling and clots across the body. This can affect the vital organs, causing them to shut down. Within a very short space of time this will result in septic shock, organ failure and death.

A pressure sore must, therefore, be treated as quickly as possible. Otherwise the wound can easily become infected, something which can ultimately prove to be fatal.

Claiming for pressure sores

Pressure sores are considered to be never events within a healthcare environment. This means that pressure sores should not happen, and can be prevented if the correct safety measures are put in place. Even if the skin does begin to break down, it should be possible to prevent the sore from becoming infected.

When a pressure sore does lead to sepsis, serious questions must be raised as to the standard of care provided. Pressures sores are not supposed to happen in hospitals and care homes in the first place. The fact that a pressure sore has become so advanced that it has caused sepsis will be extremely worrying, and may amount to medical negligence.

If you or your loved one has developed sepsis from a hospital acquired pressure sore, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today. We will advise what options are available to you, and whether or not you are in a position to claim compensation.

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