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Medical Negligence

Pressure Sores

Pressure sores are painful and their effects can be serious.

If you or a family member have suffered from pressure sores whilst under medical or nursing care, we can help you.

What causes pressure sores?

Pressure sores are often the subject of medical negligence claims as they are preventable.

They occur when the skin is placed under pressure over a period of time. When extra pressure is exerted on the skin, blood flow to the area is restricted and the skin becomes starved of oxygen and begins to breakdown.

As well as the pain from the pressure sore itself, they can often take many years to heal and in severe cases can even be fatal.

You are most susceptible to developing pressure sores if you are immobile (for example recovering from surgery), over 70 and if you have an underlying health condition.

How can you tell the difference between grades of pressure sore?

There are four grades of pressure sore and there are different things to look out for:

  • grade 1 – the skin will appear to be discoloured and may feel hard, warm or itchy
  • grade 2 – the outer layer and deeper layer of skin will be damaged. This leads to skin loss and the sore will appear as either an open wound or a blister.
  • grade 3 – skin loss will occur through the entire thickness of the skin. Underlying muscle and bone will be undamaged. The sore will appear as a deep wound.
  • grade 4 – this is the most severe type of pressure sore. The surrounding tissue begins to die and underlying muscle or bone may be damaged.

Preventing pressure sores

Most pressure sores can be prevented - if you are at risk of a pressure sores a risk assessment should be performed by nursing staff, and your position should be regularly changed. Specially designed mattresses are also available to reduce the risk of you developing a sore.

If you or a family member have suffered pressure sores whilst under medical or nursing care then we are here to help you. Contact us today.

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