Legal advice from Brian Owens, a specialist medical negligence and personal injury legal executive at FDR Law, Palmyra Square, Warrington
Hospital treatment caused bed sores
Q: My mother has recently had two spells in hospital and during each stay she has developed very painful bed sores. Hospital staff are very busy but I don’t think her care has been up to standard as she never suffers from bed sores in her care home. What can I do about this?
A: It sounds as though the bed sores suffered by your mother in hospital may be due to inadequate care, particularly if they are never a problem when she is living in her care home.
Doctors estimate that a shocking 95% of cases of bed sores or pressure ulcers are preventable. They usually develop if a patient spends too much time either lying or sitting in one position, particularly if they are left in a poor state of hygiene or not turned regularly.
The early tell-tale signs are red patches, particularly over bony areas such as heels, ankles, knees, buttocks or hips and they can lead to inflammation, blood clotting or the degenerative condition, sepsis. Neglect or inadequate care is often the cause.
NHS England reports that each year nearly 700,000 people suffer from pressure ulcers, and sepsis results in almost 37,000 UK deaths annually, so it is a massive problem. If you notice any warning signs, report them to a GP or community nurse immediately. Deeper injuries will require more serious treatment which can be prolonged and painful. Also watch out for the onset of sepsis. Tell-tale signs are fever, increased heart rate and confusion.
If you believe your mother has suffered unnecessarily due to poor care, she may be eligible for financial support to help with her future care.