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Number of patients dying with bedsores rises by over 50 per cent

Published on 31/01/2012

New statistics show that the number of people dying with bedsores or infected wounds has risen by over 50 per cent over the past decade.

Bedsores, or pressure ulcers, are a type of injury that affect areas of the skin and underlying tissue. They are caused by patients not being regularly turned in their bed, or if they are left in poor hygiene.

For some people, pressure ulcers are a minor inconvenience that require minor nursing care. But if left untreated they can lead to life-threatening complications, such as blood poisoning or gangrene.

In 2010, more than 27,000 people died with bedsores or infected wounds. The total figure is 56 per cent higher than a decade ago.

The figures, from the Office for National Statistics, are based on health conditions recorded on death certificates as a cause of death or as a contributing factor.

In 2010, 218 people died in hospitals or care homes in England and Wales with bedsores recorded as the cause of death.

2,121 died from blood poisoning, a condition usually caused by infected wounds. 25,343 died of other causes, whilst suffering from bed sores or blood poisoning.

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association called the figures "horrifying". She said: "When people are admitted to hospital, they are weak and vulnerable, and they have to trust in the health service to care for them.

"Instead, tens of thousands of people are dying every year while afflicted with bedsores and infected wounds - this is as shaming as an indictment of the care they received as it is possible to see."

Earlier this month David Cameron announced that nurses would have to undertake hourly ward rounds to check whether patients are hungry, in pain, or need help going to the toilet. And just last year, a report by the Health Service Ombudsman condemned the NHS for its inhumane treatment of the elderly.

If you are worried about the treatment you or your family receive whilst in hospital, compare health insurance online, and take control of your healthcare with private medical insurance.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  NHS and Hospitals
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