Patients are often relieved when the doctor finally diagnoses them with an acute or chronic condition that can be effectively treated in a hospital or medical facility setting. While the medical condition might take weeks or months to properly manage or heal, hospital professionals have access to the best medical information and training to assist the patient’s recovery. While there are many challenges in assisting patients in the hospital, most problems that happen when treating a specific condition is usually expected. But what about problems that creep up unexpectedly, such as developing bedsores?
Getting Worse Instead of Better
Anytime an individual is admitted to the hospital, they expect to be provided optimal health care from highly trained providers who use the latest advancements in medicine. However, it is not uncommon for hospital patients to leave in worse condition than when they arrived. Unfortunately, patients suffering any type of disease, illness or injury are always susceptible to developing pressure sores when and where they least expect it, especially if the facility is understaffed or mismanaged.
Even though bedsores can be prevented, many hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other medical centers no longer focus on providing extensive hands-on care for their admitted patients. Instead of ensuring that the patient is given the best care possible, hospitals and administrators tend to focus more on generating profits at the expense of basic patient care.
Effective treatments for healing bedsores have been known since the 1950s. Back then, doctors and nurses realized that simply removing the pressure on specific body parts every hour by turning the patient minimized the potential development of decubitus ulcers. With such a simple treatment to minimize the chance of acquiring a potentially deadly condition, it is not hard to imagine why so many patients are upset when they realize that medical or clinical negligence is a likely cause of their bedsore in the hospital.
Studies show that as many as one in 10 patients will develop a pressure ulcer while hospitalized. This number jumps to seven out of every 10 elderly patients who are also suffering mobility problems.
A Responsibility to Provide Care
When the patient is formally admitted into the medical facility, the doctors and nurses are given the responsibility to provide them essential medical care. Their duties include focusing on managing the patient’s condition to treat their acute condition. However, the medical staff should keep in mind that every patient in the hospital is also susceptible to developing pressure sores.
Once admitted to the facility, the future of the patient’s health is always in the hands of the caregivers. Because of that, it is the duty of the health care provider to ensure that the patient leaves in better shape than they were in prior to admittance. However, the medical staff can be negligent in their duties if they just provide medicine, surgeries and procedures to allow the patient to heal from their acute medical condition, without also considering the potential of acquiring another medical issue, such as developing pressure ulcers.
Recent changes in the healthcare industry have added millions more policyholders seeking medical care. The higher demand for immediate healthcare has put a strain on most understaffed facilities. As a result, many patients are not provided the care they deserve, which has increased iatrogenic (preventable harm) outcomes, which often leads to patients suffering unexpected injury or death.
No Excuse for Providing Poor Care
As highly trained medical professionals, nurses, doctors and other hospital staff receive essential training to optimize the patient care they provide. Admitted patients expect the highest level of care, and should get it. There is no excuse, including being fatigued and overworked at work, for providing a poor level of care to patients that result in pressure sores or other serious medical issues.
Commonly, patients suffering any medical condition in a hospital who cannot be moved around increase their potential of developing a pressure ulcer. This includes patients that are paralyzed, elderly, in a coma or suffering other serious incapacitating illness. Serious bedsores causing significant injury and fatalities are often indicators of inadequate care. This is because nearly every Stage I and Stage II pressure sore can be treated, reversed and fully healed.