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Pressure Sore Claims

Pressure sores can develop whilst you are a patient in a hospital or a patient in a care home if a patient is not kept properly clean, dry and positioned correctly on a bed. In addition, in a number of cases a patient will require proper mattresses to alleviate pressures created due to long term bed rest.

Pressure sore claims

Pressure sores can be very debilitating and often require specialist treatment from a tissue viability nurse. They are more common in those who have chronic illnesses and in the elderly, particularly if they have problems with their circulation and mobility.

The Clinical Negligence Team have dealt with a number of cases in which pressure sores have developed when they need not have done, and have won compensation for clients in such cases.

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FAQs

What is a pressure sore?

A pressure sore is a type of ulcer on the outer skin which is caused by soft tissue damage, usually inflicted due to continuous pressure or damage to the blood supply of the tissues.  This is usually in an area of skin where a bone is prominent, such as the area of the ankles, hips, or shoulder blades. We all of course subject our bodies to pressure for short periods of time, while we are sleeping at night.  However, if you are a patient who is bedridden for a prolonged period of time, you are at  a high risk of developing pressure sores and this risk needs to be appropriately managed so that the blood supply to the skin is not compromised.

Patients who are unable to change their position in bed naturally are even more at risk.

When might I have a claim?

You may have a claim if you have developed a significant pressure sore which you consider to have been as a result of inadequate nursing care. It may be that you were not properly risk assessed for the development of pressure sores, or that your skin was not regularly inspected in order to ensure that pressure sores were not developing.

Patients at risk should be placed on pressure mattresses and repositioned frequently in order to avoid the development of a sore. If a pressure sore does develop it is important that it is treated quickly and effectively. It may be that there was poor handling of your pressure sore once it developed and this may have been as a result of negligent medical treatment.

If you consider that you may have a claim against the NHS or a private nursing home for the development of pressure sores, our specialist clinical negligence solicitors can fully advise you on the individual merits of your case.

What sort of compensation might I receive?

In pressure sore claims, as with medical negligence claims generally, there are two different types of damages, general damages to compensate you for your pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, and special damages to compensate you for specific financial losses, both in the past, present, and in the future. The level of compensation in pressure sore claims will be related to the extent of the pressure sore suffered, which is graded normally from 1 to 5 and the impact of this on the patient.

A pressure sore which is catastrophic can lead to the amputation of a limb, which would bring with it a very large amount of compensation. However, if only minor additional treatment is required, then the level of compensation will not be as high. It is important that each case is assessed on its own merits and our specialist team will be able to advise you accordingly.

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