Troubling Statistics On Bed Sores In Florida Hospitals
Bed sores are extremely painful, gaping open wounds that develop when a patient remains in the same position for too long, leading to pressure on the skin. Also referred to as pressure sores, pressure ulcers, or decubitus ulcers, these injuries are so easily prevented that they are referred to as “never” events in the medical field. Yet, the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports that more than 2.5 million people develop these lesions in hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical settings. Not only do bed sores cause significant pain, but they increase the potential for sepsis and other infections – which, in turn, require additional medical care.
When you know that bed sores should never happen to any patient, the failure to prevent them may constitute medical malpractice. However, this type of misconduct is often attributable to neglect by a hospital or health care system rather than an individual health care provider. You may have legal options in this context, and a Florida hospital negligence attorney can explain the basics. Additional statistics and some background information may also be helpful.
Additional Figures on Pressure Ulcers
Of the 2.5 million patients who develop bed sores in hospitals and nursing homes every year, 60,000 die from their injuries. Plus:
- Pressure ulcers comprise more than 31 percent of all medical conditions acquired in hospitals
- Hospitalized patients with bed sores experience a higher mortality rate as compared to those without, at 9.1 percent and 1.8 percent respectively
- If you suffer from a bed sore, your stay in the hospital could be up to seven days compared to the average hospitalization of three days
- As a result of a longer hospital stay and additional medical treatment that becomes necessary from bed sores, medical bills are higher: The average stay costs $17,200, but patients with pressure ulcers may incur bills up to $36,500
- More than 17,000 patients file lawsuits for bed sore injuries every year, making these cases the second most common type of legal action after wrongful death
Legal Remedies for Bed Sores and Related Injuries
Medical negligence is typically the cause whenever a patient suffers injuries from never events like pressure ulcers. Prevention of bed sores requires a basic level of care and attention, so hospitals may be held accountable for not providing care in accordance with acceptable standards. If you or a loved one developed pressure ulcers, you may have a cause of action for hospital malpractice. These claims are similar to other medical malpractice cases, so you may qualify to recover two types of compensation under Florida law:
- Economic damages for medical costs, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses
- Non-economic damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, scarring and disfigurement, and other subjective, personal losses
Count on a Florida Hospital Malpractice Lawyer for Legal Help
To learn more about holding facilities accountable for neglect that leads to bed sores, please contact Freidin Brown, P.A. We can schedule a free consultation at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers, FL to review your situation and discuss strategy.