Bedsores


What are they?
Bedsores are called by other names such as pressure sores, ulcers or decubitus ulcers.They are caused by unrelieved pressure to the skin.  They can also be caused by scraping or rubbing skin against a hard surface.  Common areas of the body where they occur include hips, back, ankles and buttocks.

 

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Are there different types of bedsore?
There is a staging process.  There are four stages.  Stage one is where the skin is not broken. Stage two is where the skin is open and there is an ulcer which is shallow with a red/pink wound.  Stage three is where the ulcer is deeper and can affect the fat layers to the skin and looks like a crater.  Stage four is when many layers of the skin are affected including muscle and bone.

 

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What is the cost to the NHS of treating bedsores?
There have been various research papers on the cost of treating Bedsores.  The most recent was published in 2014 by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.  They placed the cost, depending on the type of Bedsore at between  £43 - £374 a day.

 

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How are bedsores avoided?
Bedsores are avoidable provided patients who are elderly, or immobile are properly assessed and regularly turned and checked for the tell sign of pressure areas.  The Waterlow Pressure Ulcer Risk Assessment Tool is the most used system in the UK. Reputable care establishments have properly trained staff and carry out risk assessments to ensure that staff are trained to spot potential problems early.  Bed sores can be treated with medication, therapies, surgeries and debridement.

If bedsores are untreated they can develop into an infection with associated problems such as pain, blood poisoning, bone and joint infection, reduced quality of life and can lead to death. In 1986, 117 death certificates listed Bedsores as the cause of death.

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Who is at risk?
People who have limited mobility and / or are elderly, disabled, incontinent and have other health issues are most at risk.  Specifically, bedsores can be caused when you are in the health providing system by improper staffing and improper training.  The best way of avoiding bedsores is to have a healthy diet and you should always give up smoking. Those at risk must be assessed and regularly turned and checked as outlined above.

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Damages
If you are to pursue a claim as against a health provider, NHS or a Care Home, the damages recoverable are unique to each case.  Specifically, it depends upon the extent of the pain and suffering (Stage One, Stage Two, Stage Three or Stage Four), the amount of rehabilitation and treatment required and of course the extent to which bedsore or sores have compromised the quality of your life.


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Why contact abdcare
abdcare is a specialist organisation in elderly care and medical negligence claims.  The organisation regularly pursues health providers, hospitals and care homes.  Claims for compensation are subject to strict time limits and strict protocols.  The information required to successfully pursue a claim are photographs, the need to obtain and collaborate information by way of medical records and the requirement to obtain an appropriate medical expert to comment on the cause, effect and remedy for the bedsores.

abdcare can investigate claims for an initial fixed fee which will cover the cost of obtaining medical and care home records. Further work can be undertaken pursuant to a NO WIN NO FEE agreement and insurance which means clients can bring a claim without the fear of receiving a large legal bill. Alternatively you may have a before the event accident insurance policy.  Instructions on behalf of elderly or frail clients can be provided by relatives or those with a power of attorney or by deputies appointed by the Court of Protection. 

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