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Feeling the Pressure

Feeling the Pressure

In the face of recent NHS care scandals, most notable the standard of care provided at North Staffordshire NHS Trust and the Francis Report, Tim Moulton, Clinical Negligence Solicitor at Maxwell Hodge considers one important aspect of care for the elderly and disabled; avoiding pressure sores.

Pressure ulcers are an injury that cause breakdown of the integrity of the skin and the underlying tissue. As their name suggests they are caused when an area of skin is placed under a prolonged period of pressure. People often refer to them as, “pressure sores” or “bed sores”.

Classification of pressure sores varies, but it is generally accepted that they may be graded 1-4 or 1-5, the higher the number the more severe the ulcer. These more severe wounds often become infected and take many months or years to heal.

Pressure ulcers can develop whilst you are an inpatient at Hospital or a permanent/temporary resident in a care home. They tend to occur where the person has not been kept clean, dry and position/moved correctly according to their specific needs. Some people will need a special pressure relieving matress to reduce pressure points on their skin.

At Maxwell Hodge, the Clinical Negligence Team have acted and continue to act for numerous people who have suffered avoidable pressure sore or have received inappropriate treatment once a sore has been identified.

Tim Moulton, Clinical Negligence Solicitor commented, “one or more pressure ulcers can be extremely debilitating and often require lengthly and specialist treatment from a tissue viability nurse. Commonly these types of injury can be avoided altogether with correct assessment and care from the outset”. He continued, “Unfortunately, we find that it is frequently the case that the needs of the patient are not fully appreciated by those providing care and this leads to the development of such injuries. These kinds of injuries are most prevalent in the elderly, people with a disability causing immobility or patients with dementia for example, where they are unable to communicate properly with their carers”.

Maxwell Hodge Solicitors are specialists in all aspects of Clinical Negligence including Pressure Sores. We have a network of highly experienced nursing medical experts able to comment on the standard of care that has been provided to you or your relatives. If you believe you have been a victim of clinical negligence then please contact our specialist New Enquiry Team, quoting Clinical Negligence. The team is lead by a Law Society Panel certified Specialist Clinical Negligence Solicitor and a qualified Nurse Practitioner who will be able to provide you with a free of charge, confidential and informal discussion concerning your potential claim. 0800 6946 660.

Tim Moulton 21.05.13

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