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Inadequate Patient Risk Assessment Can Lead to a Pressure Sores Personal Injury Claim
- Posted by: curtislegalwp
- Category: pressure sores
It may surprise you that in this era of medical advances and accountability that more than 500,000 people every year will be inflicted with a pressure sore, also called a bedsore, in the U.K. alone. The NHS has estimated that about 5% of people who are admitted to hospital with a sudden illness will develop a pressure sore at some point in time. This is an unacceptable outcome as with adequate supervision the occurrence of pressure sores is entirely preventable. Pressure sores are most likely to develop when someone is admitted to hospital following a serious accident, meaning mobility is restricted for the duration of the treatment and subsequent recovery time.
Pressure Sores Are Preventable
When you are admitted to hospital, for whatever reason that is, nurses and other hospital staff owe you a ‘duty of care’ so that pressure stores should not occur. Normally, a risk assessment takes place, called the Waterlow Scale, which is intended to identify your risk of developing bed sores. Whatever the results of the risk assessment, appropriate action is expected to be taken by those who are in charge of your care.
The risk assessment covers particular aspects which include:
- age and sex;
- your weight and build;
- your skin type;
- if you suffer from malnutrition;
- if you are continent or incontinent;
- your mobility status.
Each feature is assigned a number and if your risk of developing pressure sores is high further assessment needs to take place. So often though, an in depth investigation is avoided and you are left having to bear the pain and suffering of pressure sores which you are not in a position to do anything about.
The staff normally held responsible for your care in a hospital or nursing home could be doctors, nurses and ancillary staff. Any one of these professionals could be cited in a personal injury claim.
Claiming Compensation for Pressure Sores
The failure of hospital or nursing home staff to follow the Waterlow Score protocol could be used as evidence in a personal injury claim once all the right facts have been gathered together. It will still have to be proven that the occurrence of the pressure sore was preventable and you were not given the care you are legally entitled to that would have prevented the development of the pressure sore in the first place.
When it comes to duty of care, if no risk assessment was carried out in the first place this is a good starting point. Following on from that, there may be a failure of nursing staff to monitor you while you were unable to care for yourself. This includes things like providing an appropriate inflatable mattress for your health condition, assisting you to move into a different position while incapacitated and in the event of the occurrence of a pressure sore, poor or inadequate diagnosis and once discovered poor treatment and bandaging of the affected area.
If you believe you or one of the members of your family has painful pressure sores as a result of poor hospital care, you should arrange a consultation with a lawyer at Curtis Legal who can decide if you are entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering you have needlessly endured.