What are bedsores?
Bedsores can occur when a person is bedridden, immobile, unconscious, or unable to feel pain. Bedsores are sores that occur in areas of skin that are under pressure from lying in bed, sitting in a wheelchair, or wearing a cast for a long time. Bedsores are also called pressure injuries, pressure sores, pressure ulcers, or decubitus ulcers.
Bedsores can be a serious problem among frail older adults. It can be related to the quality of the care a person receives. If a sedentary or bedridden person is not turned over, positioned properly, and received good nutrition and skincare, bedsores can develop. Individuals with diabetes, dissemination issues, and ailing health are at higher danger.
Symptoms of bedsores
Warning signs of bedsores or pressure sores:
- Unusual changes in skin colour or texture
- A discharge that looks like pus
- An area of the skin that appears cooler or warmer to the touch than other areas
- Tender areas
Bedsores can be categorized as one of a few phases dependent on their profundity, seriousness, and different qualities. The level of skin and tissue harm goes from red, whole skin to a profound physical issue including muscle and bone.
Common sites of pressure ulcers
For people in wheelchairs, bedsores often occur on the skin at the following sites:
- Tailbone or buttock
- Shoulder blades and spine
- The backs of the arms and legs where they rest on the chair.
For people who need to stay in bed, bedsores may occur:
- The back or sides of the head
- Shoulder blades
- The hip, lower back, or tailbone
- Heels, ankles, and skin behind the knees
Bedsore develops when the skin’s blood supply is cut off for more than 2 to 3 hours. As the skin dries, bedsore initially begins as a sore red area, which eventually turns purple. If left untreated, the skin can break and the area can become infected.
Bedsores can become deep. It can extend to the muscles and bones. Once a bedsore appears, it is often very slow to heal. Contingent upon the seriousness of bedsore, the individual’s state of being, and the presence of different sicknesses, (for example, diabetes), bedsores can take days, months, or even years to heal. They may need surgery to help the healing process.
Bedsores most often occur in bed sores:
- Buttocks area (on the tailbone or hips)
- Feet heel
- Shoulder blades
- back of the head
- The backs and sides of the knees
Diagnosis of bedsores
Your medical services supplier may allude you to an injury care group of specialists, trained professionals, and attendants with skill in treating pressure sores/bedsores. The team may evaluate your ulcer based on several things.
- The size and depth of the sore
- The type of tissue that is directly affected by an ulcer, such as skin, muscle, or bone
- The colour of the affected skin
- The amount of tissue death that occurs from the ulcer
- Your ulcer condition, such as an infection, strong odour, and bleeding
Your health care provider may take samples of fluid and tissue from bedsores. Additionally, they may look for signs of bacterial growth and cancer.
Frequently changing positions can help heal sores and prevent new lesions from forming. When the sores are in their early stages, people may be able to treat them at home. A health care professional needs to pay attention to more severe ulcers.
Other specific procedures depending on the stage of the ulcer. But what follows are helpful general strategies:
- Decompression: This may include using foam pillows or pillows to support the affected areas and change the position of the body.
- Clean the wound: Gently wash minor sores with water and mild soap. Clean open sores with saline with each dressing change.
- Application of dressings: These dressings protect the wound and speed up healing. Options may be antimicrobial, hydrocolloid, or containing alginic acid. The dressings are available to purchase online.
- Use topical creams: Antibacterial creams can help fight infection, while barrier creams can protect damaged or weak skin.
- Urinary incontinence treatment: This may include the use of cleansers, barrier creams, incontinence pads, and stool management systems. These products are available for purchase online.
- Remove dead tissue: This can help the ulcer heal. A health care provider may use a high-pressure water jet or surgical instruments.
- Review mattress: Certain mattresses, such as dynamic or antistatic foam types, help relieve pressure. Also, some beds have a pump that ensures a steady flow of air to the mattress. A doctor can help recommend the best type. Special mattresses are available to purchase online.
- Take any necessary antibiotics: The doctor may prescribe them to treat infections of the skin, bones, or blood.
- Diet Adjustment: While there is limited evidence that any specific diet can help treat pressure sores, protein supplementation may promote healing and reduce the size of the wound. Eating enough essential nutrients and plenty of water can help maintain overall health.
- Discuss surgical options: They may include removing dead tissue, cleaning the wound, and closing the edges as much as possible. The surgeon may take healthy skin tissue to perform the repair.
A person with bedsores may also benefit:
- The wound is closed with the help of a vacuum
- Electrical stimulation
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
Possible complications of pressure sores
- It can be life-threatening
- The infection can spread to the blood, heart, and bones
- Prolonged bed rest that can keep you away from work, school, and social activities for months
- Autonomic dyslexia
- Because you are less active when the pressure ulcer heals, you are more likely to have respiratory problems or urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Treatment can be very expensive in the event of lost wages or additional medical expenses
Can pressure sores be prevented or avoided?
The best way to prevent pressure sores is to avoid long periods of time in a chair, wheelchair, or bed. If you are not able to move on your own, make arrangements for someone such as a family member, friend, or caregiver to help you move.
If you have to spend a lot of time in a chair, wheelchair, or bed, get your whole body checked daily. Look for spots, discolourations, or other signs of sores. Focus on weight focuses on where bruises are destined to happen. Again, if you are unable to see for yourself, ask someone to help you.
Another approach to pressure sores is to keep your skin clean. This includes keeping it clean and dry. Wash it with mild soap and warm water. Do not use hot water. Apply the lotion often.
Indeed, even limited quantities of activity can help forestall pressure sores. This is because exercise improves blood flow, strengthens your muscles, and improves your overall health. Talk to your doctor if the physical activity is difficult. They can suggest specific exercises. Your doctor may also refer you to a physical therapist. They can show you how to do exercises that suit your current health.
Finally, if you smoke, stop smoking. Smoking increases your risk of developing pressure sores.