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Medical Malpractice Lawsuits & Hospital Acquired Pressure Sores

woman in hospital bedThe overwhelming number of hospital-acquired pressure sore cares derive from a medical system that is focused on treating a patients acute care needs as opposed to maintaining the patient’s overall well-being. 

While the origins of hospital-acquired pressure sore (bed sores) cases and pressure sores that originate during a nursing home admission are quite similar with respect to the underlying factors behind their development, the cases can vary substantially when it comes to a litigation perspective. 

Despite the relatively elementary reasons for their development, hospital bed sore cases can become quite complex when the necessary legal maneuvering associated with medical malpractice cases gets involved.

Unlike nursing home negligence cases which are typically based upon a standard of care set forth in the patient’s ‘care plan’, hospital pressure sore cases lack the relatively ‘cut and dry’ standard of care and require the use of a treating physician or retained expert to establish how the medical facility veered off course with respect to caring for the particular patient.

Given the hesitancy of many doctors to testify against a peer in the medical community, many hospital pressure sore cases rely upon expert testimony to establish both the applicable standard of care (how hospitals in the community are to care for patients) and causation (how the deviation in the standard of care resulted in the patient developing pressure sores).

Consequently, we for most hospital pressure sore cases, we commonly utilize the services of medical experts including both physicians and nurses to assist in proving our cases— even during our initial case reviews.  While, the utilization of these experts can prove to be fairly time consuming and expensive, these experts can identify cases that are indeed meritorious and those where there may be problems down the road.

Further, as a lawyer who represents families in hospital acquired pressure sore cases, I find that families genuinely appreciate hearing an assessment of their situation from an expert who has no horse in the race.  Similarly, from a settlement posture, the early retention of experts (with case reports) signals a level of preparedness to hospital administrators that your case is prepared and ready to do.  

While there will never can be a guarantee of a specific outcome in any lawsuit, getting your ducks in a row at an early stage can set the stage for the timely resolution of hospital pressure sore cases.

Related Nursing Homes Abuse Blog entries:

Can a hospital be pursued for medical malpractice when a patient develops bed sores during a hospitalization?

Bed Sores Are Amongst Most Common Hospital Errors

Medical Facilities Need To Identify Pressure Sores As They Develop

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