Hospitals have a duty to not only tend to their patients’ acute condition, but also their overall medical care needs. This includes caring for the patient’s skin. Ignoring the skin can lead to hospital patients developing bed sores during their stay at the hospital. Bed sores develop when a patient lies or sits in the same position for an extended period of time. Patients who are recovering from surgery or illness are particularly susceptible due to their compromised mobility. Patients need to be moved regularly and blood circulation must be retained otherwise these painful lesions could develop.
Bed sores are a real threat to the well-being of hospital patients. Hospital acquired bed sores impact thousands of patients each year. The condition leaves them with complications that can be very complex and painful to heal, even more complex than the original illness that they were admitted for.
The development of bed sores can be easily prevented by monitoring patients and turning them in their beds regularly as well as providing them with equipment such as an air mattress. Most of the time bed sores develop on pressure points of the body such as the hips, buttocks, knees, and elbows as these areas have little tissue or muscle to disperse the pressure. Even short periods of being immobilized can lead to unrelieved pressure, resulting in impaired blood flow and the skin and tissue that covers the pressure point may die. As the tissue dies, it may expose the underlying tissues and bone, leading to bed sores.
It is important that family members check loved ones for bed sores when they visit, and if they are present seek immediate medical attention. Patients who develop a bed sore at a hospital may be entitled to pursue a claim or lawsuit against the hospital. A patient may be able to recover damages for their medical bills, disability, and pain. If you or a loved one has been the victim of hospital negligence resulting in bed sores contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
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