Pressure sores (also known as bed sores and pressure ulcers) can develop very quickly. Those who are a higher risk of developing pressure sores include diabetics and the elderly (please see more below).
Pressure sores can be extremely painful and debilitating and if left untreated, they can even be fatal. However, with proper nursing care pressure sores can also be prevented.
Pressure sores can occur as a direct result of unrelieved pressure and distortion of the skin and underlying tissue. The extra pressure on the skin disrupts the flow of blood and without adequate blood flow; the area of skin becomes starved of oxygen and nutrients. The skin can begin to break down and ulcers form as a result.
There are a number of factors which can increase the risk of developing pressure ulcers. These include mobility problems which result in the restriction of movement in some or all parts of the body poor nutrition can also predispose some patients to develop pressure sores.
In addition, any underlying health conditions which disrupt the blood supply to the skin and makes it more vulnerable to injury and damage can result in pressure sores.
Other risk factors
- Being over 70 years old
- Urinary incontinence or bowel incontinence
- Serious mental health conditions
Grades of pressure sores
Pressure sores are divided into four different grades, depending on the severity of the sore:
- Grade 1: Discolouration of the skin.
- Grade 2: Partial thickness skin loss, presents like a blister.
- Grade 3: Full thickness skin loss, but damage of subcutaneous tissue, presents like a deep crater.
- Grade 4: Full thickness skin loss with extensive necrosis extending to the underlying tissue.
Pressure sore treatment
Pressure sores can be prevented with good nursing care, whether in hospital or a care home.
Treatment involves careful assessment and the placement of appropriate care plans to reduce the risk of the development of pressure sores and could mean that they do not develop at all.
It should be realised that sometimes (despite a high level of nursing care) some patients will still develop pressure sores due to irreversible tissue hypoxia (where the tissue is deprived of adequate oxygen).
However, in our experience, most of our clients have developed pressure sores in situations where they could have been prevented.
Once a pressure sore has been identified, a further assessment of the patient should be undertaken, and a revised repositioning plan put into place to avoid the sore worsening.
How can we help?
If you have experienced this kind of treatment we can help you to seek financial compensation for the injuries you have suffered, and for any long term care and out of pocket expenses incurred.
Our experienced pressure sore negligence claims team will guide you through the complex legal process, ensuring that you receive the best possible outcome to your pressure sore compensation claim.