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Pressure Sores
Pressure Sores

Pressure Sores

Pressure sores are unfortunately all too common in the UK, despite the fact medical staff should prevent such an injury developing. Consequently, cases of pressure sores can often lead to a medical negligence claim, particularly if a patient has suffered serious complications as a result.

What Are Pressure Sores?

A pressure sore, sometimes known as a bedsore or pressure ulcer, is an injury that affects the skin and underlying tissue. It is a problem that occurs when pressure is put upon the skin, disrupting the flow of blood. If this continues for an extended period of time, or pressure is applied at great force for a short amount of time, the oxygen-deprived skin will begin to break down. In turn, the damaged skin will deteriorate and eventually lead to a visible sore on the skin.

Due to pressure sores being caused in this way, they will often develop in those who remain in a certain position for a significant amount of time. Consequently, pressure sores are most commonly associated with people in poor health, particularly those who are unable to move on their own.

Can Pressure Sores Be Prevented?

Pressure sores can be prevented as long as medical professionals remain aware of the risks posed to a patient. Indeed, there are many factors that are known to increase the potential of a pressure sore developing, including:-

  • Reduced mobility;
  • Old age;
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Anaemia;
  • Poor nutrition (such as anorexia);
  • Moisture on the skin (from incontinence for example).

If medical staff look for these things when assessing a patient, it should be possible to recognise whether or not he/she is likely to be affected by pressure sores.

Once a patient is identified as being vulnerable, then medical staff should make it their responsibility to ensure sores do not develop. This should begin with a regular examination of a patient, particularly in areas that are more likely to sustain damage (such as elbows, hips, heels, and shoulders). Pressure sores can also be prevented if the following steps are taken:-

  • Bathing the patient regularly;
  • Treating any moisture on the skin;
  • Maintaining good nutrition and hydration;
  • Frequent repositioning of the patient;
  • Use of appropriate support devices to relieve pressure on at-risk areas.

Should Pressure Sores Ever Happen?

While every case is different, it is generally considered that pressures sores should not happen if a patient receives proper medical attention. Pressure sores can by and large be prevented, and furthermore should a pressure sore arise then the problem should be quickly recognised and treated.

If medical staff do not take sufficient measures to prevent sores developing, or fail to identify a patient in their care has sores that needed to be treated, then this could amount to medical negligence. If you have suffered as a result of a pressure sore and you would like more information on whether you have received a sub-standard level of care, you should contact a legal expert for advice.

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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