Preventable bed sore contributed to this man’s painful death, and they’re on the rise – CBC

Ontario’s Joseph Brant Hospital says patient got ‘appropriate treatment and care’

Oct 24, 2022

Kelly O’Leary can’t shake the feeling that the excruciating pain of her father’s death could have been prevented.

Ken O’Leary, 87, of Burlington, Ont., died last February with a bed sore at the base of his spine, after a stay at Joseph Brant Hospital. His daughter describes it as “the size of an avocado.”

“It haunts me,” said Kelly. “It haunts our whole family. Because we could have done something, but [the hospital] didn’t tell us.”

Ken was one of more than 4,000 people per year who develop bed sores — also called pressure injuries or pressure ulcers — while in hospital, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).

They occur when prolonged pressure on a body part cuts off blood supply to the skin for more than two to three hours, injuring the skin and underlying tissue. The open wounds, which can lead to serious infection and even death, are best prevented by regularly repositioning patients, a job that typically falls to the often-overworked nursing staff.

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