News & Events
Payments to Compensate for Bed Sore Neglect Have Doubled in Five Years
- Posted by: curtislegalwp
- Category: pressure sores
Florence Nightingale once said that bed sores were the result of poor nursing and neglect. That was over 150 years ago. It seems that her comment has not been heeded by everyone who cares for people who are mostly bed-ridden. 706 bed sore victims have been awarded over 16 million pounds in compensation since 2003 according to data obtained from the NHS Litigation Authority.
Bed sores are ulcers that result from poor blood circulation to areas of the skin that are under pressure when hospital patients or nursing home residents lie still for hours at a time. Because of the lack of oxygen and nutrients reaching those areas, the skin can begin to break down and become infected. Bed sores, also called pressure sores or pressure ulcers, are avoidable. Regular monitoring and movement of the people in danger of sores will prevent them from occurring.
Bed sores can be life threatening if the ulcers penetrate through the skin to expose bones or even internal organs. Compensation to bed sore victims may be awarded to family members if the sufferer dies as a result of neglect.
Older people and those with Type 1 diabetes are particularly likely to develop bed sores if they lie on their beds for hours at a time without moving. One person, a known diabetic, died after developing Grade 4 ulcers. He was allegedly left for 10 hours in a wheelchair without being moved.
The 70 year old, Jonathan Jackson, had been admitted to Worthing Hospital in West Sussex after being involved in a car accident. He had to have a leg amputated but later died as a result of a heart attack. His wife has brought a personal injury lawsuit against the hospital, alleging that her husband died as a result of neglect. Her personal injury solicitor says that the money spent on compensating victims of hospital neglect would be better spent ploughed back into patient care. All it takes is simple preventative care, he said.
NHS figures collected earlier this year showed that of 200,000 people admitted to hospital, 1 in 20 of them developed some degree of severity of bed sore.
It’s not just hospital patients who develop bed sores through neglect. The Office for National Statistics has revealed that in 2011, the most recent year for which figures are available, 540 hospital patents and 277 nursing home residents died as a result of complications caused by developing bed sores.
Bed sore victims and their families can resort to legal action if they think that their health problems are the result of nursing home or hospital negligence and neglect. However, personal injury payouts have been increasing in the last ten years, implying that the lesson learned from litigation against those who are employed to care for bed-ridden people has not been learned. According to statistics obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, a Daily Mirror investigation revealed that the personal injury payments for bed sore sufferers doubled between 2007 and 2013. This year’s figure of over 2.5 million pounds is four times that awarded ten years ago.