How much compensation for a hospital patient with pressure ulcers am I likely to receive if I make a claim for negligent nursing care in hospital?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Any settlement of compensation for a hospital patient with pressure ulcers you receive will be based on the location and extent of the injury you received while staying in hospital and also if, when your ulcers heal, there is any visible scarring.

Unlike many forms of personal injury, there is no guide to how much compensation for pressure ulcers in hospital you are likely to be entitled to in the Book of Quantum, and a solicitor representing you in a claim for negligent nursing care in hospital would refer to previous settlements of compensation for a hospital patient with pressure ulcers to find precedents against which to measure your level of injury.

Pressure ulcers are usually measured in stages – Stage 1 being the earliest phase in the development of pressure ulcers where the sores are red and painful, but the skin is not broken on them, and Stage 4 being the most advanced phase of pressure ulcer deterioration; where the ulcer has killed the skin around it and extended down into the soft tissue, muscle and bone of the affected area.

If your condition was allowed to deteriorate to Stages 3 or 4 in the hospital, you are likely to have been the victim of serious clinical neglect, and any settlement of compensation for a hospital patient with pressure ulcers you receive will reflect the terrible pain you must have experienced before your condition was identified and treated.

When calculating your entitlement to compensation for pressure ulcers in hospital, your solicitor would also take into account any current temporary incapacity to perform day-to-day tasks or enjoy the leisure pursuits and social activities that would form part of your regular routine prior to you stay in hospital. Both the nature of your pressure ulcer injury and your potential loss of amenity may result in an emotional trauma (such as anxiety or depression), so this factor should also be taken into consideration.

If you have incurred any expenses due to negligent nursing care in hospital, you are naturally entitled to recover those in your claim – provided they and any loss of income you have incurred can be proven by receipts, invoices, payslips, etc., and your solicitor should advise you to maintain a diary to record the times when you are unable to lead your normal ‘pre-injury’ life because of nursing negligence.

To get a more accurate assessment of how much compensation for a hospital patient with pressure ulcers, you are advised to speak directly with a solicitor to explain the circumstances of your injury, the stage of pressure ulcers that you suffered and what effect your injury had – or is having – on your quality of life.