Bedsores (Pressure Sores)

Bedsores (skin ulcers, pressure sores) refer to the damage of the skin, caused by lack of blood flow and skin irritation over a bony projection, in which the person’s skin has been under pressure from a splint, bed, cast, wheelchair, or other hard objects for a long period of time.

Pressure is a main cause of lowered skin blood flow. Individuals, who are not able to move are at high risk for getting bedsores. Such people include individuals, who are restrained, bedsores Bedsores (Pressure Sores)very weak, or paralyzed. Also, at higher risk are individuals, who are not able to sense pain or discomfort. Malnourished individuals are also at higher risk of progressing bedsores.

Prolonged moisture exposure frequently feces, urine, or perspiration, may damage the surface of skin, producing bedsores. In most individuals, bedsores result in some itching and pain; in people without sensitivity, even deep severe sores can be painless. Bedsores are classified by stage. In stage1, a sore has not actually produced; the skin is simply red. In stage 2, the skin is swollen and red, frequently with blisters and the top most layers of skin start to die. In stage 3, the sores have broken through the person’s skin, exposing skin’s deeper levels. At stage 4, the bedsores extend deeply through the fat and skin, and into the muscles. By stage 5, the muscles themselves are destroyed. At stage 6, the deepest bedsore stage, the bone is damaged, exposed and in some cases, infected.

Infection delays shallow sore healing and may be fatal in deeper sores. Sore prevention is a top priority, and deeper bedsores may be prevented with intensive nursing care. Daily bedridden patient’s skin inspection, may detect early redness. Bony projection may be protected with fluffy wool or cotton. Wheelchairs, chairs, and beds may be padded to lower pressure. Individuals, who are not able move themselves, must be repositioned oftenly. The common advice is to turn them every two hours and keep their skin dry and clean. A person, who has to spend a lot of time in bed, may use air-filled or water mattresses. The person, who already has bedsores on few sides of body, sponge rubber ”egg-crate” mattresses or air-filled mattresses, may provide with extra relief.

For individuals with many deep bedsores, an air-suspension mattress can be required. Bedsores treatment is very difficult. At early stage of Bedsores, they generally heal by themselves, once pressure is removed. Taking calorie supplements and protein can help speed healing. If the person’s skin is broken, the skin should be protected with a gauzes for faster healing. Petroleum jelly consisting of teflon, coated gauzes have the advantages of not sticking to the wound. For deeper sores, specific dressings containing gelatin-like materials, may help in growing new skin.

If the sores ooze or are infected, using desinfectants such as povidone-iodine, rinsing, or gently washing with soap, may remove infected and dead material. However, harsh cleansing slows the healing process. In some cases, the surgeon requires to debride (remove) the dead particles by using scalpel. Sometimes, chemical agents may be used instead. Deep bedsores are hard to treat. In some cases, they need transplantation of healthy skin to the affected region, but such surgery type is not always available, particularly, for malnourished people. If infection develops deep within a sores, an antibiotic is given. If bone infection (osteomyelitis) occurs, it is extremely hard to treat and it can spread through the blood, requiring prolonged antibiotic treatment.

Preventing Pressure Sores (Bedsores)

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2 Responses to “Bedsores (Pressure Sores)”

  1. Jerome Says:

    If a person has stage 4 bed sores, about how long have they been laying on them

  2. Bella Says:

    Final stage of all bed sores is stage 4. In such stage bed sore, the most advanced and serious stage, nearly all patient’s skin is lost in the affected person’s area and extremely deep wound occurs. The wound has spread through the tendons, muscles, bones, or organs. Stage four bed sores also can develop decubitus ulcer, which nearly always need surgery to remove necrotic and decayed tissues. The infection in a stage 4 bed sore is extremely serious and may cause extremity to amputate or death, if left untreated. Stage 4 bed sore is only seen in patients who was not treated properly (was neglected).

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