What are pressure ulcers?
Most people know these as bed sores or pressure sores. There are a number of reasons pressure ulcers can develop from poor care or because limited mobility means that pressure stops the blood flowing properly to skin. However 95% of pressure ulcers are preventable.
Pressure ulcers can be very painful and they are graded for severity from Lower Grade 1 to Grade 4. Lower Graded pressure ulcers are discoloured or inflamed skin with Grade 4 pressures sores being open wounds exposing underlying bone or muscle. Even if a pressure ulcer heals the skin can remain vulnerable and will need additional care in the future to protect the skin integrity.
This is why any Grade 3 or Grade 4 Pressure Ulcers must be reported to the Care Quality Commission by the Care Home if a resident has suffered from either.
Veronica Male, our Care Home Abuse and Neglect Specialist, says, “The majority of pressure ulcers can be prevented with good care. When a loved one becomes a resident in a Care Home or hospital their health needs must be properly assessed. This involves assessing that person’s risk of developing pressure sores. Some residents may need a pressure relieving mattress, and cushion for their chair and a plan to ensure their position is changed on a regular basis and recorded.
“Sadly the majority of cases I see where people have suffered pressure ulcers have come from poor continence care with people being left in soiled bedding or incontinence wear. This frustrates and angers me as these pressure ulcers could have been so easily prevented with just good basic personal hygiene care.”
How can pressure sores be prevented?
The Care Inspectorate, the Scottish Equivalent of the Care Quality Commission (The independent regulator of all health and social care services in England) have published guidance with Health Care Improvement on how to prevent and treat pressure ulcers.
The Guidance can be accessed through this link:
They advise that with appropriate risk assessments, care planning and good staff training pressure ulcers can be dramatically reduced.
Because the majority of pressure ulcers can be prevented if you or a loved one has suffered a pressure ulcer whilst in the care of a Care Home or hospital and you want to discuss making a claim for compensation Talk to Tollers on 0333 414 9123 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org
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