Pressure sores, also known as bedsores or pressure ulcers, are common, and negligence cases are becoming increasingly so as it is a condition that is avoidable in many cases.
Pressure sores are a result of unrelieved pressure on the body’s tissue. Anyone with reduced mobility can be at risk of developing them and they can be very painful and also lead to tissue necrosis, infection (including MRSA), and in severe cases even death from the resulting infection.
What are the types of pressure sores?
Pressure sores are a graded injury:
Non-blanchable erythema of intact skin.
Discolouration of the skin, warmth, oedema, induration or hardness may also be used as indicators, particularly on individuals with darker skin – in whom it may appear blue or purple.
Partial thickness skin loss involving epidermis, dermis, or both.
The ulcer is superficial and presents clinically as an abrasion or blister. Surrounding skin may be red or purple.
Full thickness skin loss involving damage to, or necrosis of, subcutaneous tissue, which may extend down to, but not through, underlying fascia.
Extensive destruction, tissue necrosis, or damage to muscle, bone, or supporting structures with or without full thickness skin loss. Extremely difficult to heal and predispose to fatal infection.
Anyone who goes into hospital and may be at risk of bedsores should be risk assessed using either the Waterlow assessment or NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) guidelines. These are used to help create a nursing care programme specifically tailored to the patient to avoid the onset of this painful condition.
For example, a nursing care programme should provide for the redistribution of pressure on the body by regular repositioning of the patient and, if necessary, provision of appropriate support surfaces and pressure relieving devices.
Pressure sores are unfortunately also common in people being cared for in nursing homes and care homes, and are sometimes classed under the heading of elder abuse.
What can I claim?
The value of your claim will depend on a number of factors including:
- The nature of the illness or injury
- Whether you recover fully from the illness or if it has a long term effect on your health and wellbeing
- The amount of any losses you incur as a result of the injury
You can claim compensation for the following things if they are a result of your injury:
- Pain, suffering and loss of amenity
- Loss of earnings
- Medical and nursing care costs
- Special equipment needed to carry out daily activities and any costs involved in adapting your home
- Other expenses incurred as a result of your injury, for example, travel expenses incurred whilst receiving medical treatment
Contact us to speak to one of our specialist lawyers in total confidence and they will discuss the details of your claim.