Personal Injury Attorneys

Dangerous Bedsores Put Patients at Risk

When you consider the safety of a hospital, you’re probably focused on issues like surgical complications and fatality rates. While the type of information is obviously important, it doesn’t tell the whole story. That’s why the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade drills down into a wide range of practices, procedures, and outcomes. Some are as simple as staff handwashing protocols, while others delve into issues such as how often the hospital leaves an object inside a surgical patient.

One of the Leapfrog measures that doesn’t attract a lot of attention from members of the public assessing hospital safety is the incidence of dangerous bedsores, also known as “pressure sores” or “pressure ulcers.”

While bedsores may not sound like a serious issue compared with post-surgical complications such as blood clots and collapsed lungs, pressure ulcers are no small problem.

Bedsores Can Be Fatal

Nationwide, tens of thousands of people die from bedsores each year. Many others suffer serious consequences, including the need for surgical repair, or even amputation.

However, the seriousness of bedsores depends to a great degree on how quickly they are identified and treated. Thus, while bedsores aren’t unusual among hospital patients or nursing home residents who spend a lot of time in bed or stationary in a chair, dangerous bedsores most often result from neglect—either because they went unnoticed or because medical personnel or caretakers failed to respond appropriately.

Dangerous Bedsores in New York Hospitals

Unfortunately, some New York hospitals got very low grades in the last Leapfrog report, and dangerous bedsores were a common problem. In fact, Coney Island Hospital got the worst score in the country for dangerous bedsores, with 1.35 in every 1,000 discharged patients affected.

Other local hospitals with higher-than-average rates of dangerous bedsores include:

Brookdale Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn

Overall grade: F

Dangerous bedsore rate: 5.33x the national average

Mt. Sinai Brooklyn

Overall grade: D

Dangerous bedsore rate: 3x the national average

Staten Island University Hospital (Northwell Health System)

Overall grade: D

Dangerous bedsore rate: 1.4x the national average

New York – Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital

Overall grade: D

Dangerous bedsore rate: 3.3x the national average

SUNY Downstate Medical Center University Hospital of Brooklyn

Overall grade: D

Dangerous bedsore rate: 4.4x the national average

NYC Health Hospitals Kings County

Overall grade: D

Dangerous bedsore rate: 3.5x the national average

If this brief sampling has you concerned about the overall safety of NYC hospitals, those concerns are warranted. Only one area hospital—NYC Health Hospitals Metropolitan in Manhattan—received an overall grade of “A”.

When an emergency situation such as a heart attack or a serious car accident occurs, you may not have the luxury of choosing your hospital. But, if you are scheduling non-emergency surgery or being admitted to the hospital for other non-emergent care, it is in your best interest to take the time to research local hospitals and determine which is not only better-ranked overall, but has the strongest record in the areas relevant to your care.

If You’ve Suffered Serious Injury from Bedsores, Talk to an Attorney

If you’ve suffered pain, scarring, additional surgery, loss of mobility, an extended hospital stay, or other serious ill effects from bedsores that were not promptly diagnosed or properly treated, you may be entitled to compensation. Whether the negligence occurred in a hospital in the form of medical malpractice or a nursing home, you owe it to yourself to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your rights and options.

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