The New York Times has a story today about the dramatic increase in hospital patients with bedsores over the last 14 years. A report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality finds that over 500,000 patients admitted to U.S. hospitals in 2006 suffered from a bedsore that was developed either before or during their hospital stay. That represents a whopping 78.9 percent increase over a previous study performed in 1993.
The failure to prevent or treat bedsores has been the basis of several cases here at Walton Law Firm LLP. Most legal claims arising from bedsores (frequently called “pressure ulcers” or “decubitus ulcers”) occur in the nursing home or hospital setting, and involve a bed sore that became a Stage III or Stage IV before appropriate treatment was obtained. Sores that severe can often lead to secondary problems such as infection, and usually require painful treatment.
“Bedsores are preventable, but it’s not easy,” said William Spector, an agency researcher. “It’s not like you just get a prescription and one physician can take care of it. It’s a major team effort that requires a multidisciplinary team of dietary aides, nurses aides, physical therapists and physicians all playing a role.”