Hospital Bedsores on Children Occur With Surprising Frequency

Carl Saiontz

By Carl Saiontz
Posted September 5, 2013


Bedsores that occur in hospitals and nursing homes are preventable injuries that can usually be avoided if the facility exercises the appropriate standards of medical care. However, a recent study suggests that a surprising number of hospitalized children suffer these painful and debilitating pressure ulcers.

The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. investigate potential hospital bedsore lawsuits nationwide and can review whether financial compensation may be available for these preventable injuries.

According to a study published last month in the medical journal Pediatrics, researchers from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center report that about 10% of children who stay in hospitals develop bedsores.

Unlike typical pressure ulcers, which may are caused by continuous pressure on bony parts of the body due to inactivity and a failure of the medical staff to properly reposition the patient, children’s hospital bedsores are often caused by medical devices.

The study looked at 1,425 patients hospitalized for a total of 54,351 patient days in pediatric intensive care units (PICU) and neonatal intensive care units (NICU). Researchers found that the rate of bedsores was 14.3 for every 1000 patient days.

Implementing quality-improvement intervention programs led the researchers to find that they were able to reduce the number of conventional bed sores and medical device pressure ulcers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. After the programs were put in place to improve the quality of care, the rate dropped to 3.7 bedsores for every 1,000 patient days, which far exceeded the researchers’ goal of at least a 50% reduction.

As the researchers highlighted, increased awareness about the risk of children suffering pressure sores in hospitals, strategies to reduce the risk of medical equipment causing pressure on the same area of the body and early diagnosis of the ulcers is critical to reducing the number serious and potentially life-threatening bedsore injuries.

A study published last October in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, which involved adult patients, found that developing a bedsore in the hospital made a patient three times more likely to die during their stay. It also found that those patients have overall longer hospitalization periods.

Bedsores develop on the skin when an area is repeatedly rubbed or something is pressed against the skin for a long period of time. The pressure reduces the blood flow in the area, which can result in skin deterioration and an ulcer can form.

These pressure sores typically occur in bony areas of the body, such as the elbows, hips, shoulders, heels, back and the back of the head. Early symptoms may include red skin that worsens over time. The area can also develop a blister which turns into an open sore.

The medical malpractice lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. review potential lawsuits nationwide and there are never any fees or expenses unless we are successful obtaining a recovery.

If your child, a friend or family member have been diagnosed with a hospital bedsore, request a free consultation and claim evaluation to determine if financial compensation may be available.

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