Pressure sores are wounds that develop when constant pressure or friction on one area of the body damages the skin. Constant pressure on a fixed area can prevent the blood from flowing normally, and when this occurs cells can die or break down.
Some people or conditions make it more likely that a person will develop pressure sores. For example:-
- Being mobility restricted due to age or illness
- Dehydration or dietary deficiency
- Weight loss – you may have less padding over bony areas
- Friction or rubbing of the skin
Pressure sores are preventable. A pressure sore risk assessment should be carried out by the medical team responsible for care and a plan implemented to prevent them. For example,patients admitted to hospital should be assessed on admission under the Waterlow system. The higher their Waterlow score, the greater the risk of pressure sores.
Measures such as regular turning, pressure relieving mattresses, and moisturing the skin thoroughly after washing can all be preventative.
However, where it can be shown that inadequate care was taken to prevent pressure sores it is possible for us to claim compensation. This can be because no risk assessment was ever considered or implemented or because plasters or bandages were applied too tightly.