Bed sores / Pressure ulcer Negligence

Bed sores (also known as pressure sores/ pressure ulcers) pose a serious risk to patient safety in hospitals and care homes in England and Wales, and are often a preventable harm.

In the NHS in England, 24,674 patients were reported to have developed pressure sores between April 2015 and March 2016 and treating pressure sores costs the NHS more than £3.8 million every day, according to the NHS Safety Thermometer database.

Bed sores are an open wound/blister skin injury that can develop after prolonged periods of pressure, often as a direct result of neglect when patients are left in one position for too long. Bed sores often take a long time to heal and in serious cases, the skin will turn black from the lack of blood flow. If left untreated, bedsores can result in infection, reduced mobility and can cause severe health complications. Even where bedsores are treated, in some circumstances, the skin may never fully heal and the individual may remain susceptible to developing pressure sores in that area for the remainder of their life.

Pressure sores are graded at four levels of severity:

  • Grade 1 – skin discolouration, usually red, blue, purple or black
  • Grade 2 – some skin loss or damage to the uppermost skin layers
  • Grade 3 – necrosis (death) or damage to the skin patch, limited to the skin layers
  • Grade 4 – necrosis or damage to the skin patch and underlying structures, such as tendon, joint or bone

Hospitals and nursing staff should be aware of the risk of developing bed sores and patients should be checked and turned regularly in order to reduce the risk of bedsores developing. Anyone immobile for a long period of time is potentially at risk of developing bedsores, however, elderly patients and patients who are bedridden or confined to a wheelchair for long periods of time are most vulnerable. If bedsores develop, this is usually an indicator of poor care.

Claims for clinical negligence can arise if medical staff fail to properly identify or monitor high risk areas on a patient’s body which leads to them developing pressure sores as a result.

Curzon Green are experienced in assisting with bed sores litigation and handling these sensitive cases, particularly when the care complained of relates to care you or a loved one has received. Our aim is to make the claim process as stress free and straightforward as possible for you and we are often able to assist on a No Win No Fee basis.

We have successfully assisted clients bring claims against NHS trusts that have suffered with bed sores as a result of poor care received and obtain generous damages to compensate them for their injuries and losses, plus their legal costs.  

Recent work includes securing a £55,000 settlement for an elderly lady that suffered with bed sores as a result of negligent care received in hospital and obtaining a settlement of £90,000 for a client that suffered with bed sores through a formal mediation.

If you are looking for advice and assistance in relation to pursuing a clinical negligence claim as a result of pressure sores, please do not hesitate to contact us today for a free initial consultation by calling either our London or High Wycombe offices, or by emailing: personalinjury@curzongreen.co.uk.