Pressure sores compensation claims
If you or a family member has suffered as a result of pressure sores or bedsores caused by negligent nursing care, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
- Information about pressure sores claims
- How much can I claim?
- What can I claim compensation for?
- Making a claim for compensation
Pressure sores, also known as bedsores, are reddened areas of the skin, which often feel tender to touch. The most common areas of the body that people end up with pressure sores are on the heels, ankles, spine, buttocks or shoulders.
To begin with, the area may be red and sore, progressively becoming darker and more painful. If the pressure is not relieved to improve circulation and the sores treated effectively, they can become deeper and infected. Blisters can form and the skin and tissue may die and break down.
Pressure sores are a graded injury:
- Grade 1: non-blanchable erythema of intact skin. Discolouration of the skin, warmth, oedema, induration or hardness may also be used as indicators, particularly on individuals with darker skin - in whom it may appear blue or purple.
- Grade 2: partial thickness skin loss involving epidermis, dermis, or both. The ulcer is superficial and presents clinically as an abrasion or blister. Surrounding skin may be red or purple.
- Grade 3: full thickness skin loss involving damage to or necrosis of subcutaneous tissue that may extend down to, but not through underlying fascia.
- Grade 4: extensive destruction, tissue necrosis, or damage to muscle, bone, or supporting structures with or without full thickness skin loss. Extremely difficult to heal and predispose to fatal infection.
Any patient entering hospital that may be at risk of bedsores should be risk assessed using either the Waterlow assessment or NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) guidelines. These are used to help to create a nursing care programme specifically tailored to the patient to avoid the onset of this painful condition. For example, a nursing care programme should provide for the redistribution of pressure on the body by regular repositioning of the patient and if necessary provision of appropriate support surfaces and pressure relieving devices
Pressure sores should be avoided through the correct care of nursing staff and if a patient is bed ridden or facing life in a wheelchair they should be moved every couple of hours to ensure that they are lying in a different position; failure to do this indicates a lack of care and ultimately results in pressure sores occurring.
If a health professional does break this duty of care or fails to notice the on set of pressure sores then you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
A number of factors will determine the value of your settlement:
- The type of injury and how severe the injury is
- Did you recover fully from the injury or do you have ongoing problems
- What are the long term effects on your health
- Did the injury cause you other losses such as loss of earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of earnings
- The loss of comfort/convenience/quality of life caused by your injury
- Medical care costs
- Costs involved in adapting your home to meet your new requirements as a result of your injury
- Other out of pocket expenses incurred whilst receiving medical treatment, such as travel expenses
A specialist medical negligence solicitor can assess your case and inform you about:
- How strong your case is
- The likelyhood of making a successful claim
- The amount of compensation you may receive if your claim is successful
- Pursue a claim on your behalf