Hospital Acquired Pressure Ulcers

Hospital acquired pressure ulcers are decubitus ulcers that develop while a patient is in the hospital. These are different from bedsores that existed on the patient when (s)he was admitted. A hospital acquired pressure ulcer is a never event, which means that hospitals do not get paid for treatment related to the hospital acquired decubitus wound. They do not get paid for treatment of the wound because the wound should never have developed in the first place.

Pressure Ulcers: What Are They?

Hospital Acquired Pressure Ulcer

Photographs of Hospital pressure ulcers. The bottom rights is a Stage I pressure sore which deteriorated into a Stage IV decubitus ulcer.

Pressure ulcers are skin breakdown that develop if a patient’s position remains unmoved while in chair or in a bed. The national standard of care requires nurses to reposition the patient at least every 2 hours in bed and every hour in a chair. Pressure ulcers are graded based on their severity. A small reddened area is a Stage 1 ulcer. The most severe type of bedsore is a Stage 4 ulcer.

Hospital Decubitus Ulcers:
Who is to Blame?

Generally speaking, the hospital nurses are to blame for allowing a hospital acquired decubitus ulcer to develop on their watch. Most pressure ulcers are preventable through proper care. If a patient develops a bedsore while under the care of the nurses, chances are the patient was neglected and not repositioned. This is why non-hospital doctors are so infuriated when they learn that their patient developed a pressure ulcer while hospitalized.

Pressure Ulcers in the Hospital:
What’s the Big Deal?

Bedsores & Hospitals

Pressure ulcers in the hospital are preventable mistakes.

“Your mom has a small wound on her backside. It is normal and nothing to worry about. We have it under control.” This is something families hear when they first learn about a hospital acquired bed sore. Nurses and doctors may minimize the wound and try to divert your attention to some other health issue. However, these hospital pressure sores can have disastrous effects on a patient’s health. According to a recent medical study on hospital acquired ulcers, “The prevention of hospitalacquired pressure ulcers (PrUs) has significant consequences for patient outcomes and the cost of care. . . Driven by the combination of a repository of evidence-based tools and best practices, readily available data on PrU rates, and local flexibility with processes, the Reducing Hospital Acquired-PrUs Program represents the successful operationalization of improvement in a wide variety of facilities.” Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25782561

What Can I Do Now?

If your family member was neglected and developed a pressure ulcer in the hospital, contact our law firm to take a look at your potential decubitus ulcer case. You may be entitled to recovering damages for medical bills, missed work, pain and suffering. Give us a call today at 561-317-7207 to discuss your case today.

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