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Clinical Negligence Blog: Pressure Sores

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February 3, 2016 | By Suzanne Munroe |

February 3, 2016 | By Suzanne Munroe |

As a specialist Clinical Negligence Solicitor, I frequently handle cases involving health conditions which can arise as a result of negligent care. Pressure sores are one such condition. Around half a million people in the UK develop a pressure sore each year.

Pressure sores occur when an area of skin is put under pressure and can start to develop after just a few hours. The pressure stops blood flow to the skin, causing the skin to break down forming a ‘pressure sore’ or ‘bed sore’.

Pressure sores often develop on the heels, lower back and buttocks. They can be very painful and can cause lasting damage to skin and tissues but with good nursing care they can usually be prevented.

Places where patients have a higher chance of developing pressure sores include hospitals or care homes. Elderly patients are at high risk of pressure sores, as they are more likely to be immobile or have vulnerable skin.

Pressure sores can usually be prevented with good nursing care:

  • When a patient is admitted to hospital they are assessed for their risk of pressure sores and allocated a ‘Waterlow score’. A high score means higher risk of pressure sores.
  • High risk patients are often seen by a Tissue Viability Nurse who is specially trained in wound care and wound prevention.
  • Preventative measures such as regular turning and providing supportive mattresses/chairs or cushions may be put in place.
  • High risk patients often are seen by a dietician to ensure their nutritional needs are met.

Irreversible pressure damage is usually prevented by conducting proper risk assessments and fairly basic nursing care.

If you, or a relative have suffered from pressure sores in the last 3 years contact our specialist Medical Negligence team on 0800 138 0458 to discuss your case and find out if you have a claim.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only.  They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice, and the law may have changed since this article was published.  Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice on their own particular circumstances.

Suzanne Munroe

Suzanne is a Solicitor who heads up our Medical Negligence team and is also a Director of Switalskis. She joined Switalskis in 2013 and has specialised in Medical Negligence for most of her career. Suzanne is a nationally-recognised birth injury lawyer. Suzanne's profile