Facts You Did NOT Know About Bedsores In Florida Hospitals
You are probably aware that bedsores are wounds to the skin that develop when a patient remains in the same position for too long without being moved, but there are some additional facts that might surprise you. For one, the formation of dangerous bedsores is a key indicator of failures by hospital staff with respect to patient safety. Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades reports that the problem affects facilities throughout Florida, and even closer to home in Tampa. Of the 32 hospitals in the city limits, 5 received “C” grades in part due to the high incidence of bedsores among patients.
Another fact about bedsores is that they are preventable and usually the result of negligence by health care providers. Therefore, patients who suffered harm may be entitled to compensation under Florida medical malpractice laws. A Tampa medical malpractice attorney can provide additional details on the following points that impact your legal remedies.
- How Hospital Patients Develop Bedsores: The official term for these wounds tells you how they form. Bedsores are called pressure ulcers because they are the result of gravity’s impact on a person who is lying down or sitting in the same position for too long. Without movement, pressure cuts off blood flow to the skin and cells begin to die off.
- Body Parts Commonly Affected: Patients most likely to suffer bedsores are those who are immobile, unconscious, or cannot sense pain – individuals who mostly or always remain in bed, or who are in wheelchairs. Plus, pressure ulcers frequently occur in areas where the skin stretches somewhat thinly over bone, so the body parts most affected include:
- Heels of the feet and ankles;
- Shoulder blades;
- The back of the head; and
- The buttocks, tailbone, and hips.
- Stages of Pressure Ulcers: Medical professionals have established a system for rating the severity of bedsores; Stage 1 would include a minor wound that causes redness and swelling around the affected area. At Stage 2, a pressure wound may be blistered or open, and there is considerable pain.
At Stages 3 and 4, a bedsore is penetrating deeper into muscle, tendons, and bone. A patient will be in agonizing pain and will usually be hospitalized for a longer period. Amputation may be necessary as treatment, and death is possible when a bedsore reaches extreme infection.
- Bedsores and Medical Negligence: It is relatively easy to prevent pressure ulcers from forming, such as by moving the patient frequently, checking for bedsores, and ensuring sufficient padding on wheelchairs and bedding. When they develop, prompt treatment keeps the wound from progressing. Failures in these areas could give rise to a med mal claim if they constitute a breach of the duty of care doctors owe to patients.
Discuss Your Rights with a Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyer
It is important to know some basics about bedsores and legal remedies for patients, but you can trust our team at Greco & Wozniak P.A. to handle the details. For more information on the legal process, please contact our offices in Tampa, FL at 813.223.7849 or via our website. We can set up a complimentary consultation to review your situation and explain next steps.