21st Mar 2018
What is a Pressure ulcer?
A pressure ulcer is an area of damaged skin. Sometimes referred to as bedsore the skin is damaged by the person staying in one position for too long. A pressure ulcer will often develop when there are bones close to your skin. This becomes a real problem for the elderly who are patients in nursing homes, convalescent centers, or rest homes or other long-term patient care facilities. 2.5 million people are treated for pressure ulcers each year, so it is a big problem.
Because a pressure ulcer is so common among seniors, who are disabled or have limited ability to move, medical professionals must provide comprehensive and regular assessments, so that their patients receive the care needed to prevent pressure ulcers. The issue often becomes one of whether there has been a violation of the standard of care or whether a pressure ulcer was unavoidable. Were there a proper risk assessments and precautions taken? A skin assessment should be taken upon admission and there after at regular intervals. Other important issues include: Was the patient turned and was this noted in his or her chart? Were the patient’s wounds cleaned? Was the patient properly instructed on wound care? Once the ulcer developed, did the medical provider note the cause in the chart?
Legal claims can include failure to turn and reposition, failure to prevent the wound, and inadequate treatment.
You can learn more about pressure ulcers at this link. https://medlineplus.gov/pressuresores.html