Parent has pressure sore in hospitalParent has pressure sore in hospital

Pressure Sores in the Elderly

Older people are at greater risk of developing pressure sores, particularly if they have difficulty moving due to injury, severe illness or sedation. The NHS estimates that up to 70% of elderly patients with mobility problems in the UK will develop pressure sores and unfortunately, it often does not take long for them to develop.

Elderly people are more at risk of developing these wounds because they have thinner skin. This means that they are much for vulnerable to the damage caused by minor pressure, and if this pressure is continuous, it will not take long for the pressure sore to develop. In addition, elderly people are often underweight, so there will be little padding around their bones to protect from the damage caused by a constant pressure. Very elderly patients can suffer also problems with poor nutrition, which can affect the quality of their skin and blood vessels, resulting in less effective healing.

Medical experts warn that even if a very patient is well nourished and in good overall health, they may still take much longer to heal when compared with younger people.

Also at greater risk of developing pressure sores are those with long-term spinal cord injuries. The reason for this is because the nerve damage they have suffered is very often permanent and as such, compression of the skin and some of the skin tissues is constant. Damaged skin, coupled with poor circulation can increase the risk of damage, therefore lowering the likelihood of effective healing. Patients with long-term spinal injuries have reduced sensation too, so they often don’t receive the standard body signals that would make them change position, such as discomfort and pain. As a result the pressure sore will only get worse.

Any patient suffering with restricted movement may be at a greater risk of developing a pressure sore. This risk is increased if the patient:

  • Is not detecting pain Like with spinal cord injuries, there are certain diseases that can reduce or eliminate a person’s sensation of pain. If a patient is not feeling pain then they cannot take the necessary steps to relieve it and so may not feel the pressure sore developing.
  • Has lost weight If a patient has lost weight as a result of their suffering, they can be more prone to developing pressure sores because the loss of fat and muscle means the bones are more exposed to damage.
  • Is suffering with an illness Sufferers of diabetes and vascular diseases affecting circulation are sometimes at a higher risk of tissue damage because blood is not flowing properly to certain tissues.
  • Is not eating properly This is due to a shortage of vitamin C, protein and zinc.
  • Is a smoker If the patient is a smoker, their blood circulation could be affected as it is known to be undermined by nicotine. Smoking also reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood, which has a negative effect on a person’s healing.
NHS Compensation Calculator

Download a Guide to Pressure Sores

Download a free copy of our guide to pressure sores, including:

Fill out my online form.

Claiming For Medical Negligence 

Clinical Negligence Claim

There are times that the medical procedures and care we receive may fall short of everything you expect to receive, and things can go drastically wrong, leaving you worse off and perhaps, severely injured. Watch our medical negligence videos for more information about making a medical claim.

GPs claim medical negligence lawsuits are bringing service to its knees

The increasing costs of medical negligence lawsuits are having direct and devastating consequences on Britain’s General Practitioner service, according to a new survey. The government says that it needs to recruit 5,000 new GPs by 2020 to cope with demand of the increasing workload, but this year has seen the number of GPs falling by 100 per month. Whereas doctors in hospitals have their insurance premiums paid by the hospital or hospital trust for which they work, in the case of GPs the responsibility lies on them to pay their own premiums and some say that they are now paying up to a fifth of their pre-tax income on insurance. According to the BMA (British Medical Association) GP’s pay has reduced by 11 per cent in real terms since 2008. At the same time the annual rise of insurance premiums has averaged 10 per cent, and it continues to rise as the costs of medical negligence cases increase. So is it right to sue the NHS? The vast majority of doctors, nurses and health professionals in the UK are highly qualified, caring people who want to help others in the best way that they can. Many work in high-pressure situations and make the difference between life and death on a daily basis. It is incredibly rare that incidents happen due to malice or general incompetence, but if mistakes are made in someone’s care, and those mistakes go on to leave the patient in a worse state than when they arrived to receive care, then someone has to be responsible. In some cases it might be an issue with machinery... read more

Maternity blunders push NHS negligence payouts to £1billion

Last year the National Health Service paid out more than £1billion in damages for medical negligence. This was a record high amount and was in part fuelled by blunders during childbirth that have soared in recent years. Patient groups said that the figures illustrate the desperate need for improved safety within hospitals. The amount paid out by the NHS for medical and clinical negligence cases has almost doubled since 2010, with a large proportion of the costs going to pay solicitors’ fees. Chief Executive of the charity Action against Medical Accidents; Peter Walsh, said the NHS was spending far too much on litigation because it was failing to improve its own safety record, and spending too much fighting cases that it should not defend. “Most of these costs would be avoided if the NHS investigated incidents better, recognised when they were at fault, and settled claims earlier.” Many of the most expensive claims involved babies who were left brain-damaged at birth for whom the payouts involve the costs of care for the rest of their life. In some cases when things go wrong, a simple apology can resolve the situation. In other more serious cases, doctors and other medical professionals who fail in their duty of care can be disciplined, or even struck off from performing their duties. It is when mistakes are made and serious injuries or life-changing events occur that you might feel the need to take the compensation route, and that is when you need a team of experienced medical negligence solicitors to help you get the compensation you deserve; not only due to the intricate... read more

The Surgeon with the God complex

In a high profile news story this week, a surgeon who allegedly carried out completely unnecessary operations has been convicted of intentionally wounding patients. Ian Paterson, 59, from Altrincham in Greater Manchester has been granted bail and is due to be sentenced late this month. During the 7-week hearing some of the surgeon’s victims gave statements about how Paterson misled them into thinking that they had serious medical issues and carried out operations for conditions that in many cases the patients were not even suffering from. One female victim who underwent surgery by Paterson six times in seven years said that he “…tried every trick in the book to avoid accountability for his disgusting crimes. Mr Paterson charmed and manipulated his patients into trusting him. I for one trusted him with my life.” The victim had been told by Paterson that she had breast cancer and went through extensive surgery to remove the cancer, then a full mastectomy to remove the breast. It was later found that she had not been suffering from breast cancer at all and that he had made up the results so as to continue performing dangerous and unnecessary surgery. As well as working privately at the Little Aston and Parkway Hospitals in the West Midlands, Paterson carried out hundreds of unnecessary operations on NHS patients, costing one NHS Trust around £17.8 million in damages and legal costs. Sometimes even good doctors make mistakes, sometimes crucial pieces of machinery can fail, and sometimes a simple error of judgement on the part of someone treating you can cause significant pain and damage. Fortunately it is very... read more