Scots hospital deaths from bedsores are criticised as 'third world'
THE number of Scots dying from bedsores was branded as "totally unacceptable" after new figures revealed high numbers of pat-ients are being killed by pressure ulcers in hospital.
• Ross Finnie said the problem should be treated like MRSA
Scottish Government statistics showed that 78 people have died because of bedsores and pressure sores in Scotland during a five- year period.
Parliamentary questions also revealed that there have been 566 cases during the same period where pressure ulcers or sores were mentioned on the death certificate either as the underlying cause of death or as a contributory factor.
A Scottish patients' group described the figures as "third world" last night and said government ministers should "hang their head in shame" over the bedsore death toll in the country's hospitals.
Scotland Patients Association chair Margaret Watt blamed the crisis on not having enough staff working in hospitals to ensure people got the care they needed.
She said: "What on earth are relatives of people who die from bedsores while they are in hospital for something else supposed to make of this.
"No-one should be dying of bedsores in Scotland in the 21st century as we're not a third-world country.
"We're supposed to be a progressive country and it's shocking and totally unacceptable to have all these deaths.
"Members of the Scottish Government should hang their heads in shame about these figures.
"The problem is caused by not having enough staff working in hospitals to care for people."
Lib Dem health spokesman Ross Finnie, who asked the parliamentary questions about the issue, claimed that bedsore deaths were preventable and could be eradicated.
Mr Finnie called on ministers and health chiefs to treat the problem as seriously as the potentially deadly hospital superbugs like C diff and MRSA.
He said: "The public will be shocked that Scots are still dying from bedsores in the 21st century. They cause huge amounts of pain and discomfort but are easily preventable.
"Bedsores can arise because a patient has been left alone by staff for hours at a time. This needs to stop.
"The government must treat bedsores as seriously as hospital infections."
However, the Scottish Government said that some patients were already suffering from bedsores when they were hospitalised.
A government spokeswoman said: "These comments are a dishonest representation of our NHS.
"Sadly we know some elderly patients already suffer from bedsores when they arrive in the care of the NHS. Patient care is the top priority for the NHS and everything possible is done to cure any illness a patient has."
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