Professional legal advice for those affected by Pressure Sores
During hospital stays, Pressure Sores can easily develop and can be far more serious than many people realise. In the worst cases they can cause blood poisoning or even disabilities. Contact us if you or a loved one has experienced pressure sores and you feel you may be entitled to compensation.
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What are Pressure Sores?
Pressure sores (sometimes referred to as pressure ulcers) develop when you are in a long period of inactivity and immobility. When in one position for an extended period, the pressure placed upon one area of the body causes a sore. They can be made worse by moisture and friction.
They can be identified through a discolouration of the skin, which can be itchy and hard. The skin of patients who are at risk should be inspected regularly. Patients at risk should be regularly repositioned and should not be allowed to sit for long periods. Muscle spasms can increase the amount of friction. Patients should also be assessed for a seating aid.
It is important to spot these symptoms as soon as possible, as when a sore is not treated it may cause a wound.
There are different grades of wound, ranging from grade one to grade four. The most severe of these open wounds, grade four, can reach the muscles or bones. If left untreated, the open bones and joints can become infected. Other conditions may stem from this such as bacterial skin infections and blood poisoning.
Plaster sores can also develop if a plaster cast is not applied properly. If a cast is not examined upon your request due to pain, then negligence has occurred as there has been no attempt to rectify the problem.
How are Pressure Sores treated?
Depending on the severity of the sore and which grade it falls under, treatment can differ. You may need to make daily changes such as ensuring your diet and nutrition is healthy to help recovery, as well as moving your position every so often to prevent sores developing.
Dressings may be used to heal the sores. These dressings are designed specifically for pressure sores and can include special gels, or antibiotics if there has been an infection. The most serious cases, grade four, may require surgery as the wounds cannot heal by themselves.
When can I make a pressure sore claim?
In most cases, pressure sore claims need to be made within three years from when you suffered from malpractice, or three years from when you first discovered your pressure sores. However, this time restriction can vary depending on the circumstances of your case.
For example, when making a claim for a child, the three year time restriction begins after the child turn 18 years old. Likewise, someone who lacks mental capacity and cannot make a claim on their own may also be exempt from the restriction.
What compensation can I receive?
If you have developed pressure sore injuries due to medical negligence, or in the worst case you have been left permanent disabilities, compensation is necessary to live the best quality of life possible. A successful settlement can pay for further medical treatment which may be needed, or any home adjustments to help you in day-to-day life. You can also recoup any earnings lost from taking time off work.
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How are Pressure Sore claims funded?
There are various options for funding claims. Many of our cases are funded using Conditional Fee Agreements, (also called a ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement). In a Conditional Fee Agreement, you will only pay for our solicitors’ work if we win the case for you. In very limited cases we can offer advice for free thanks to Legal Aid funding. Our solicitors can review and discuss your funding options and help you decide the best route to take.
How can Switalskis help me?
We believe that it is important to understand what went wrong and why you developed pressure sores. At Switalskis we will provide you with the advice and guidance you need along the way, to give you peace of mind and just compensation. Nobody deserves to feel helpless at the hands of medical professionals.
Our team includes solicitors who are accredited as specialists by both The Law Society and the patients’ charity, Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA). We are also recognised as being among the top Clinical Negligence teams in England by the Legal 500 UK, the foremost legal guide for clients.