Pressure Ulcers – Why prevention is key

19th November 2020

Pressure Ulcers – Why prevention is key

Pressure ulcers are not inevitable and can be prevented by good care.

That’s the clear message from Jenny Tetlow, a Solicitor in the Clinical Negligence team at Higgs & Sons.

Unfortunately, Jenny has first-hand experience of people suffering from preventable pressure ulcers having acted to secure compensation for several families whose loved ones have not been given the level of care expected.

Her comments come on International Stop the Pressure Day, which aims to draw attention to the debilitating condition.

Pressure ulcers occur when there is sustained pressure and shearing forces on the skin.

For this reason, pressure ulcers typically affect patients who are immobilised and remain in the same position for a prolonged period of time, such as people with serious spinal injuries.

Following their recently announced partnership with the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA), Higgs & Sons is keen to raise awareness of the condition – and how it can be avoided.

Jenny said: “It’s not just elderly patients who are at risk from pressure ulcers. More than 1,300 new ulcers are reported each month – and we know from our partnership with SIA that those with spinal injuries can often be affected.

“Unfortunately, the prevention of pressure ulcers is an aspect of care that is often overlooked.

“Various control measures and strategies can be implemented to lower the risk of pressure ulcers, including regular inspection of the skin, regular repositioning, the use of supporting materials and ensuring patients receive adequate nutrition and hydration.

In addition, the Spinal Injuries Association and its Spinal Cord Injury Nurse Specialist Team are on hand to provide support and advice to those at risk of developing pressure ulcers. For example, simple changes to aids and equipment, regular physiotherapy and Functional Electric Stimulation (FES) bikes to promote circulation and blood flow can all play an important part in the fight against the development of pressure ulcers.

The Clinical Negligence team at Higgs & Sons is ready to act when poor care has led to pressure ulcers.

Jenny added: “Pressure ulcers must not be seen as inevitable – they’re an inevitability of poor care. Often we see that risk assessments are completed but then not followed or updated. This results in the development of pressure ulcers which are then susceptible to further breakdown.

“As a firm, we have partnered with the Spinal Injuries Association to support patients who have needlessly suffered a spinal injury, either as a result of a catastrophic injury or due to clinical negligence.

“Pressure ulcers and injuries can further complicate spinal cord injuries and are a source of major pain and discomfort for all who sustain them.

“We’re pleased to be raising awareness on this international day.”


People who have been affected by pressure ulcers as a result of poor care can talk to the Higgs & Sons team by calling 0345 111 5050 or by emailing


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West Midlands, DY5 1LX

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Higgs LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority number 819589.