When you visit a hospital for routine surgery or emergency medical treatment, you trust that the healthcare providers at the hospital will do everything possible to assist in your recovery.
In most cases, this is a safe assumption.
However, what happens if you develop a hospital-acquired pressure injury during your stay? Can you hold the hospital responsible for your injuries?
At the New Mexico medical malpractice law firm of Poulos & Coates, LLP, we help patients who developed pressure injuries while in a hospital’s care pursue compensation for their preventable injuries.
What Are Hospital-Acquired Pressure Ulcers?
A Hospital-Acquired Pressure Injury (HAPI), previously referred to as a pressure ulcer, is a skin or tissue injury occurring during a patient’s hospital stay, often due to prolonged pressure on specific body areas.
Bedsores form when the blood supply to the affected area is cut off due to pressure placed on the area from the body’s weight.
Medical researchers have found that pressure ulcers can start to develop in as little as two to three hours if the staff does not rotate a patient’s position.
Some of the most common pressure injury locations include:
- The back or side of the head;
- The shoulder blades;
- The lower back and tailbone;
- The buttocks; and
- The heels of the feet.
If untreated, pressure ulcers can result in very serious—and even life-threatening—injuries. However, preventing pressure ulcers is possible by simply preventing a patient from spending too much time in one position.
Are Hospitals Legally Responsible for a Patient’s Pressure Ulcers?
Hospital personnel must provide adequate care to all patients. This duty includes repositioning immobile patients.
Generally, patients who are frequently rotated do not develop pressure ulcers. Thus, hospitals may be liable for a patient’s hospital-acquired pressure injuries, provided the injury developed due to a hospital worker’s negligence.
However, establishing a link between a patient’s hospital-acquired pressure injury and staff negligence can raise certain challenges.
An experienced New Mexico medical malpractice attorney can help patients and their families understand the possible cause of a pressure ulcer and discuss their options.
Contact an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you or a loved one developed a hospital-acquired pressure injury, contact the attorneys at Poulos & Coates, LLP. Our firm has over 70 years of combined experience holding negligent healthcare providers accountable for our client’s injuries.
We are also the only New Mexico law firm to focus only on medical malpractice cases. We don’t believe in spreading ourselves too thin by taking any case that walks through the door.
Instead, we laser focus our energy to give ourselves an unrivaled depth of knowledge in this complex area of the law.
We accept all cases on a contingency basis, meaning we will not bill you for our services unless and until we obtain compensation on your behalf.