Roni Caryn Rabin of the New York Times reports that the the number of hospital patients with bedsores (pressure sores, decubiti) has risen dramatically over a 14-year period. The development of pressure sores results in longer hospital stays and increased expenses.
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, approximately 503,300 patients admitted to U.S. hospitals in 2006 suffered from a bedsore that developed either before or during their stay. That figure was 281,300 in 1993, representing an increase of 78.9 percent.
The elderly, in particular those bedridden or immobile, are most susceptible to bedsores. The sores, called decubitus ulcers, develop when there is constant pressure on the skin, and they can lead to serious, life-threatening infections.
Pressure sores are a clear indication of neglect. The development of such sores is only unavoidable in very rare instances when the patient is severely compromised due to underlying medical conditions.
The attorneys at Gallivan & Gallivan are committed to holding nursing homes and hospitals accountable for allowing the development or progression of avoidable pressure sores.
Hospitals Face a New Epidemic: Bedsores, Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, December 8, 2008.