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Pressure Sore Claims

Pressure Sores are wounds that are caused when you lie or sit in one position too long and the weight of your body against the surface of the bed or chair cuts off blood supply. You might get them if you’re on bed rest or in a wheelchair. They are often referred to as bedsores or pressure ulcers.

They develop when constant pressure or friction on one area of the body damages the skin. Constant pressure on an area of skin stops blood flowing normally, so the cells die and the skin breaks down. 

Many patients, particularly those who are very young or very old, are frail, undernourished and dehydrated, those who are unconscious and patients who have an illness or disability that restricts their movement, are vulnerable to developing pressure ulcers.

If found early, there’s a good chance these sores will heal in a few days, with little fuss or pain. Without treatment, they can get worse.

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There are 4 stages of Pressure Sores

Stage 1

This is the mildest stage. These only affect the upper layer of skin usually causing Symptoms of Pain, burning, or itching. The area of the sore may also feel firmer or softer, warmer or cooler than the surrounding skin.

You may notice a red area on your skin. If you have darker skin, the discoloured area may be harder to see. The spot doesn’t get lighter when you press on it, or even 10 to 30 minutes after you stop pressing. This means less blood is getting to the area.

Stage 2

This happens when the sore goes deeper below the surface of the skin. The skin is broken, painful, leaves an open wound, or looks like a pus-filled blister and the area is swollen, warm, and/or red. The sore may ooze clear fluid or pus. 

Stage 3

These sores have gone through the second layer of skin into the fat tissue. The pressure sore will look like a crater and may have a bad odour. It may show signs of infection such as red edges, pus, foul smell, heat, or drainage. The tissue in or around the sore is black if it has died. A Stage 3 pressure sore will often take at least one month and up to 4 months to heal.

Stage 4

These are the most serious types of pressure sores. Some can affect muscles and ligaments. A stage 4 pressure sore is large and deep. The skin will have turned black and show signs of infection including red edges, pus, foul smell, heat or drainage. You may be able to see tendons, muscles, and bone. A Stage 4 pressure sore can take anywhere from 3 months or even years to heal.

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Treatment Of Pressure Sores

Healthcare Staff in the UK should follow a 5 step plan (SSKIN) to prevent Pressure Ulcers 

SSKIN stands for:

  • Surface: make sure the patient has the right support
  • Skin inspection: early inspection means early detection
  • Keep the patient moving
  • Incontinence/moisture: the patient needs to be clean and dry
  • Nutrition/hydration: help the patient to take the right diet and plenty of fluids.

Once a medical practitioner notices any reddening of the skin they should consider:

  • Placing the patient on an air mattress
  • Moving the patient onto different parts of his body to prevent deterioration/ulceration of the sores
  • Application of medicine and dressings to the wound

Medical Negligence Compensation 

You may have a claim for compensation if you have suffered a pressure ulcer due to negligent treatment by a medical practitioner. Due to the pain, discomfort and suffering experienced by the patient, awards for compensation for pressure ulcers can be significant. If you belive yourself or somebody else should be compensation for pressure ulcers/sores, or any other medical negligence claim such as appendicitis, please get in touch.