Is it possible for a claim for a hospital patient with bed sores to be filed to recover compensation? My sister has developed numerous bed sores and I believe this was due to negligence of the nurses on her ward at the hospital.
It is possible to claim for a hospital patient with bed sores if the injuries were sustained as a result of inadequate or substandard nursing care being provided. Bed sores – also known as pressure sores or pressure ulcers – can easily be prevented if nurses perform standard hospital patient care procedures.
Bed sores develop when a part of the body is subjected to prolonged pressure which causes a restriction in blood supply to a part of the skin and subcutaneous tissues. They can develop over a relatively short period of time if the pressure exerted on the body is substantial, or over a longer period of time when a relatively small amount of pressure is applied to the skin.
The nurses at the hospital should have been well aware of the risk of patients developing bed sores and action should have been taken by the nurses to reduce that risk to the minimum possible level. It is a standard practice in hospitals and nursing homes to regularly turn patients to reduce the duration that pressure exerted on a particular part of the body. This routine procedure can be all it takes to prevent pressure sores from developing, although eliminating the risk entirely may not be possible. Because of this, the fact that your sister has developed bed sores is no guarantee the nurses were to blame and hospital bed sore compensation can be recovered.
In order for a claim for bed sores from a hospital to be possible – and successful – it will be necessary to conduct an investigation into how your sister’s bed sores were allowed to develop to determine whether inadequate nursing care was provided. This will be difficult without receiving specialist legal assistance, so we recommend allowing a medical negligence solicitor to conduct the investigation to confirm eligibility to make hospital bed sore claims.
Since your sister’s medical condition may not necessarily have been preventable or caused by negligence of the staff, a claim for bed sores from a hospital has potential to be complicated and the assistance of a solicitor could make an important difference to both the outcome of the case and the amount of compensation for bed sores in hospital that can be recovered.
A solicitor will establish whether there were failings in care standards, if your sister’s skin condition could have – and should have – been prevented, in addition to identifying the party or parties against whom hospital bed sore claims will need to be made. It will then be possible to determine the amount of compensation that can be recovered and once sufficient evidence of negligence has been collected the claim can be filed.
However, the first action to take to ensure the right to claim hospital bed sore compensation is not lost is to write a letter of complaint to the HSE. A claim for a hospital patient with bed sores will need to be investigated by the HSE, and it is important that it is made aware of your sister’s injuries as soon as possible so that an investigation can be conducted. Even if you complained to the staff in the hospital previously it is still essential that the HSE is notified in writing if you intend to claim compensation for bed sores in hospital.