News & Events
No More Excuses For Pressure Sores
- Posted by: curtislegalwp
- Category: pressure sores
Every year there is a regular event which is designed to focus attention on preventing pressure sores. This year, the “World Stop Pressure Sore Day 2016” took place on November 17th. It was organised around the planet by more enlightened health and aged care facilities. Unfortunately, not every hospital or nursing home is quite so enlightened. Despite overall improvements there are still too many at risk people who are developing pressure sores.
Pressure sores that are left without treatment can cause localised but intense pain and infection of the skin and deeper tissue. It is still one of the leading causes of death in institutions where elderly people are cared for.
Pressure sores develop when people are unable to move and remain prone in one position for hours or even days at a time. While there is still a certain amount of doubt about the actual sequence of events that lead to the development of a pressure sore it is thought to most likely to happen when blood flow is restricted. When a limb or part of the body is left in one position for too long, the pressure on it can cause a restricted blood flow and this can then lead to a pressure sore.
Pressure sores are also sometimes called “bed sores”, although the term “pressure sores” better describes the underlying medical cause.
The sores are usually easily spotted and can be prevented by simple methods. There are many examples of places where proactive methods have reduced the incidence of pressure ulcers.
The Welsh ABMU (Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University) Health Board is an example of what can and should be done elsewhere in Britain. The ABMU has produced a leaflet on how to reduce the incidence of pressure sores and has distributed it to hospital staff and nursing homes in the area of South Wales covered by the board i.e. Neath, Port Talbot, Bridgend and Swansea. The ABMU has a specialised unit called the Pressure Ulcer Prevention and Isolation Service (PUSPIS). This unit is the one that produces the leaflet, and has also made a video for use in informing staff in hospitals and nursing homes about pressure sores.
On 17th November, as part of the World Stop Pressure Sore Day, ABMU staff manned stands in the local hospitals and provided resources and information on preventing pressure sores, distributed leaflets and showed their video.
The ABMU, through PUSPIS, has also developed a mirror that can be used by nurses and hospital staff with at risk patients. The mirror is held so that difficult to see parts of the body like the heel can be monitored. One of the warning signs that a pressure sore is developing is a slowly expanding red mark just beneath the surface. Careful monitoring and deliberate and systematic movement of a patient’s body so that pressure doesn’t remain in one spot for too long can prevent the ulcers from developing.
The ABMU also developed a pressure sore reduction tool called a “skin bundle” back in 2009 which was judged so successful that it was distributed all over Britain.
In reality, there is really no excuse for pressure sores developing anywhere in a supervised nursing home or hospital as the symptoms are easily recognised and prevention through monitoring and periodic movement is well understood.
If you, or a family member, develop pressure sores and you suspect that it has happened because of negligence in a residential nursing home or hospital, you may be entitled to pursue legal action against the institution or particular staff who work there. A personal injury claim will help to focus attention on the institution and may help to prevent further negligence of this type reoccurring, as well as help to compensate the loved one financially for the cost of repairing the damage that has been done.
The lawyers at Curtis Legal are experienced pressure sore compensation lawyers and will provide a free consultation to discuss your situation and advise you on the chances of claiming for compensation for sores that have been caused by clinical negligence.