What are pressure sores?

Also known as bed sores, pressure sores or pressure ulcers develop when a large amount of pressure is applied to an area of skin over a short period of time, or when less pressure is applied over a longer period of time. This is often due to being confined to a bed or a wheelchair and not moving position often enough (eg. at least once every two hours). Pressure ulcers can range in severity from patches of discoloured skin to open wounds that expose the underlying bone or muscle. Older people or anyone with mobility problems are particularly vulnerable to pressure ulcers.

Problems in residential homes

Residential homes have a responsibility to provide proper care for their elderly residents and, if they fail to prevent pressure sores by providing an adequate mattress, necessary equipment or a proper turning regime, it may be possible to claim compensation.

But there are many other potential issues, aside from pressure ulcers, which can arise in the context of elderly homes, including:

●    medication and prescription errors – older people, particularly if they are suffering from dementia, will be more vulnerable to the possibility of wrong medication being taken and it’s vital that staff ensure that correct medication and doses are taken
●    handling injuries and falls – if elderly people are not properly supervised they are susceptible to falls which can be extremely debilitating and dangerous. If people need to be lifted or handled, this needs to be done with care after proper training to avoid injury.
●    elder abuse – unfortunately certain cases sometime come to light in which elderly residents in care homes have suffered at the hands of abusive staff

Claiming compensation for pressure sores or poor treatment in residential homes

The medical negligence team at CH Legal has recovered compensation for elderly people who have suffered from preventable bedsores in care homes and hospitals, or been the victims of poor handling or elder abuse. We can pursue a case on your behalf or that of your loved one. To find out how we can help, contact Rukhsana Arif or phone 0845 4786 354.