Bedsore compensation claims: How bedsore injuries are caused

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If you or a relative have suffered injury as a result of poor care provided by a hospital, residential care or nursing home, you may be entitled to compensation. Make an informal enquiry with us today about your case.

Bedsores, or pressure sores as they are often called, are caused when a particular area of the skin is placed under too much pressure, with the weight of the body pressing down on the skin. They can also be caused by layers of skin sliding over one another and by friction. The most common areas of the body to be affected are the bony areas such as the heel, ankle, hip, elbow, shoulder, the back and the back of the head. They are relatively common in developed countries including the UK and tend to occur mostly in the elderly who are bedridden or hospitalised for a period of time.

There are generally four stages of severity with the first stage seeing reddened or darkened skin that will not turn white when firmly pressed. This is followed by a partial skin loss that may appear as an abrasion or a blister. The third stage sees a full skin loss while the fourth and final stage sees a full skin loss extending beyond the underlying tissue to muscle and bone.

The three main contributory factors, as briefly described above are firstly, sustained pressure where the skin and underlying tissues are trapped between bone and a surface such as a wheelchair. The pressure deprives affected areas of essential nutrients so they eventually die. It is most relevant to those areas that are not well padded with muscle or fat.

The second cause is shear which occurs where two surfaces, one being the skin, move in the opposite direction. Again this can damage tissue and blood vessels making the area more vulnerable to damage from sustained pressure. Finally, friction occurs where a person changes position by themselves or is handled by carers and the skin is dragged across a surface. Again fragile skin is more vulnerable to injury.

You could make a medical malpractice claim for compensation if you believe you have suffered negligent treatment.