PRESSURE ULCERS - Watsons Health
PRESSURE ULCERS1 - WatsonsHealth

PRESSURE ULCERS

Pressure ulcers or bedsores are areas of broken skin that are common to people who are immobile. This immobility may be caused by diseases or conditions that requires them to be confined to bed or wheelchair for extended periods of time.  Pressure ulcers oftenly developed into bony areas of the body such as the hip, spine, lower back, tailbone, shoulder blades, elbows and heels. It is because pressure from this areas are intense that it temporarily cuts the skin’s blood supply leading to skin injuries. Other factors like skin conditions of the elderly and poor nutrition can cause the skin to be easily damaged.

Pressure ulcers may develop into four stages.

  • Stage 1 – The skin may be itchy and will look red and feel warm to the touch.
  • Stage 2– There may be a painful open sore or a blister, with discolored skin around it.
  • Stage 3 – A crater-like appearance develops. It is due to tissue damage below the skin’s surface.
  • Stage 4- Severe damage to skin and tissue, possibly with infection. Muscles, bones, and tendons may be visible. An infected sore takes longer to heal, and the infection can spread elsewhere in the body.

DIAGNOSIS

Diagnosing pressure ulcers are quite easy. One good indicator is the area where it has developed and if the person is immobile. The doctor might inspect the sores to determine the degree of the damage and to provide a proper treatment for it.

 

TREATMENT

The best treatment for mild pressure ulcers is to change the position of the patients from time to time, atleast after 1 to 2 hours. Applying treatment creams can help the wound to heal. However, severe wounds may require surgical treatment. The surgery aims to clean the sore, treat or prevent infection, reduce fluid loss, and lower the risk of further complications. Another procedure to help treat pressure ulcers is known as Negative pressure wound therapy. In this procedure, a suction tube is attached to the bedsore to draw moisture. This may drastically improve the healing of the sore and reduce the risk of infection.

 

PREVENTION

Repositioning can help avoid pressure on the skin.  The use of cushions or a mattress may also relieve pressure. It is also important to eat a balanced diet and practice a healthy lifestyle.

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