What is the best treatment for bed sores or pressure ulcers?
If you or a relative have suffered bed sores or pressure ulcers when in the care of a hospital or nursing home you will need to consider how the problem can be treated.
You should also consider if you should bring a claim for compensation as a number of the factors that cause bed pressure sores or ulcers can be the direct result of poor or inadequate care.
How Are Pressure Sores and Bed Ulcers Treated?
The treatment for the bed sore or pressure ulcer will of course depend on how serious at state it is in when discovered – ie what grade of pressure sore has been diagnosed from mild (1) to serious (4)
The main treating methods are set out below.
Mattresses and Cushions
A range of special mattresses and cushions are available to treat bedsores and bed ulcers. Their aim is to relieve pressure on the affected area. Patients or residents suffering grades 1 or 2 pressure sores generally would be prescribed a specially designed foam mattress. Those with grades 3 or for would benefit from a more sophisticated airflow mattress that is regulated carefully regulated to adapt to body movement
If a pressure sore or bed ulcer is discovered then normally a special type of dressing is used to ensure the healing process is accelerated. These contain special gels that relieve and prompt cell re-growth
It is not routine to prescribe antibiotics for a pressure sore. However, if there is evidence of infection (normally grades 3-4) then antibiotics can prevent the spreading of the ulceration or infection.
A key factor that may have led to the pressure sore developing in the first place may have been poor nutrition. A balanced diet plus special supplements such as zinc and vitamin C can also assist
Debridement of the Pressure Sore
Debridement is the removal of dead tissue from the pressure sore or ulcer. If the sore is less serious then paste or specially designed dressing are used. If more serious then surgical debridement may be required using scalpels and forceps.
In Grade 3 and 4 Pressure Sores it will often not be enough to simply debride the wound- a more intrusive surgical operation to stitch together the edges of the wound or by using tissue from nearby to allow more radical reconstruction.
However surgery to a serious bed sore inevitably means that there are risks of further complications and such as internal bleeding blood poisoning and wound infection.
If you or a relative has suffered from a bed sore or bed ulcer when in the care of a hospital or nursing home it needs to be investigated to see if the care was below the standard that was required. If it was you may be able to bring a claim for compensation for the pain and suffering that was caused.
If you wish to discuss the matters further with specialist solicitors with extensive experience of such claims please contact us as soon as possible: