The Law Firm of Leisawitz Heller

What are bedsores and can they constitute medical malpractice?

Cases of medical malpractice can often arise when patients at a hospital suffer injury during their time there. Most patients assume that they will arrive with a bad medical condition at a Pennsylvania hospital where they will be treated and released in better shape than when they entered. Sometimes this doesn't happen, however. This blog post will discuss one medical condition that may be contracted due to hospital negligence. That medical condition is bedsores.

Bedsores are also known as pressure ulcers. They are the result of prolonged pressure on the skin. As the name suggests, bedsores often are experienced by individuals who are bedridden for prolonged periods of time. Those most at risk for bedsores are those with a medical condition that limits their ability to change positions.

Signs of bedsores include swelling, pus-like draining, unusual changes in skin color or texture, and tender areas. Bedsores often occur at a patient's shoulder blades; the back or sides of the head; the hip, lower back or tailbone; and the heels, ankles and skin behind the knees. Bedsores can become serious if they get infected. Immediate medical attention is needed if this happens.

Bedsores can develop quickly, therefore it is necessary for a hospital's nursing staff to be vigilant and check at-risk patients for bedsores at regular intervals. Staff members may not do this if they are understaffed, poorly trained or unwilling to do their jobs properly. In these cases, the hospital, individual members of its staff, or other medical professionals may be liable for injuries suffered.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Bedsores (pressure ulcers)," accessed on April 8, 2018

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