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Pressure Sores and Medical Malpractice

Dec 29, 2016 | Medical Malpractice

According to pressure sore statistics from the US Department of Health and Human Services, 2.5 million patients are affected by bed sores each year in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2004, 159,000 residents of nursing homes had pressure sores. Pressure sores cost $9.1 to $11.6 billion each year in the country.

Over 17,000 lawsuits each year in the US are related to bed sores or pressure ulcers. After wrongful death, it is the second most common claim in the country. There are roughly 60,000 deaths as a direct result of a pressure sore each year, translating to 6.85 deaths per hour per day.

A pressure sore is a break or redness on the skin that results from excessive pressure on the skin over an extended period of time. Blood is unable to get to the skin due to the pressure, causing the skin to die. Normally, messages of discomfort or pain are sent by the nerves to the brain so that you know when you need to change your position, but due to damage to the spinal cord, these messages do not reach your brain.

Types of Pressure Injury

It might be a prudent idea to learn how to change your position so that there is not too much pressure in one area of your body. For instance, pressure sores can occur when you lie or sit on one position for too long. Shearing is a type of pressure injury as well. This occurs when the skin moves in one direction while the bone underneath it moves the other way. Slouching when you sit is an example.

An abrasion is another type of pressure injury which can occur when you are pulling instead of lifting yourself across a surface. This is an example of what is known as friction injury. Additionally, short exposure to high pressure, like a fall or a bump, may result in damage to the skin which may not be visible right away.

Complications Caused by Pressure Sores

Pressure sores can cause quite a few complications that can be life-threatening, including:

  • Infection can spread to the heart, blood and bone.
  • It could require a limb to be amputated.
  • It can result in autonomic dysreflexia.
  • Prolonged bed rest may be necessary, which in some cases, could cause more issues and require more care.

Signs of Pressure Sore Trouble

If any of the following occurs, you need to seek medical attention right away:

  • Increase in the sore’s size or drainage
  • Increased redness around the bed sore or formation of black areas
  • Foul smell from the sore and/or drainage turns greenish in color
  • High fever

We have Won Big Money for Past Clients

If you or a loved one has suffered pressure or bed sores due to negligence in a hospital or nursing home, you should immediately seek the help of the qualified medical malpractice attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff of RMFW Law at (212) 697-9280. You can discuss the facts of your case at a free consultation.

Give us a call. What is your side of the story? We know at this point the hospital is not going to reason with you. This is where RMFW Law comes into the picture. If your case is viable, we will know what to do. Give us a call today!