It is estimated that thousands of people develop bed sores each year whilst in hospital. This is staggering when you consider that in most cases bed sores can be avoided if patients are moved regularly instead of being left for hours in the same position.
Neglect of this simple precaution has led to the suffering of 706 patients whom have received compensation by the NHS, with the average compensation cheque at around £37,000.
What is a Bed Sore?
Bed sores form as a result of unrelieved pressure. The pressure disrupts the flow of blood through the skin, so it becomes starved of oxygen and nutrients and begins to break down, leading to an ulcer that can eat through the flesh and organs- right to the bone.
Bed sores have 4 stages.
- Stage 1 is an initial redness indicating excessive pressure. These should be noticed during routine nursing checks and during hygiene maintenance
- Stage 2 is when the skin starts to break down
- The sore forms at stage 3 and the tissue beneath starts to become damaged
- Stage 4 is when the tissue has died and in some instances, the bone underneath is visible.
Bed sores are commonly found on the heel, back and elbows.
Clinical staff should be trained to spot these signs and how to continuously assess a patient throughout their stay in hospital depending on how their mobility/condition/medication changes.
It is a worrying thought that some 150 years ago Florence Nightingale said that “a patient with bedsores represented a failure in nursing care”.
Peter Walsh, of charity Action Against Medical Accidents said: ‘Avoidable bedsores are the cause of misery for thousands of patients and sometimes even death, as well as costing the NHS millions of pounds”.
There us no doubt that more needs to be done to solve this problem”.
Most people are unaware that they may be entitled to financial compensation for the pain and suffering caused by bed sores. We have significant experience with these types of claims. If you would like further advice today free of charge and without obligation please call us on Please telephone us on 0845 287 0939 or e-mail us through our online contact form.