Pressure Sores Causes and Treatments


Pressure sores, also called bed sores, or even decubitus ulcers, are the result of tissue damage that is caused by pressure against the pores and skin, the friction of bedding or other materials against the skin, and/or shear forces created when the skin is definitely moved one direction and root tissues are moved in the opposite direction as a patient moves or is moved. Pressure sores occur most frequently in areas where the bones are close to the skin such as the body, tailbone, shoulders, heels, even the back of the head, when a person will be confined to a bed for an extended period, but they can also occur for the buttocks and hips if an individual sits for lengthy periods too.
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Once the tissue has been damaged, sores or wounds of this type are difficult to heal and are very painful for the patient.

Even an usually healthy person is at risk to get developing a pressure sore if remaining in bed or a wheelchair for example without having changing positions and other care, but the following factors significantly increase the risk of an individual developing a pressure ulcer:

Individuals that cannot reposition themselves in bed or a chair to alleviate the pressure that builds under the skin. Even though a person has some ability to move by themselves, decreased mobility means they may generate friction or shear forces because they attempt to move themselves in bed or even a chair.
Individuals with decreased sensation or neurological impairment may not feel the irritation of pressure, friction, or shear and will not move themselves as often as they should to alleviate discomfort and prevent damaged tissues.
Individuals that are incontinent have a higher risk of developing a sore or wound because moist skin macerates or breaks down more rapidly and entire body fluids irritate the skin. Finally, if the skin is broken, even slightly, the risk of infection is magnified due to contact with urine and/or feces.
Similarly, sweat or humidity also increases an individual’s risk for pressure sores.
Individuals with poor circulation are also with increased risk for developing a pressure sore.
Nutrition and hydration are very important for the health of the skin, so individuals that tend not to eat well or that have difficulty staying hydrated are at an increased danger.

Pressure sores are classified with the stage of development and unless of course other factors make a thorough examination of the particular sore or wound extremely difficult or impossible they usually fall into among the following stages:

Stage I : In a stage I sore, your skin will not be broken, but the presence of tissue damage will be indicated by epidermis redness that does not subside once pressure has been removed. The skin may differ within temperature from the surrounding skin and the area may be painful for the individual. The damage beneath the skin may be more severe than can be determined because the skin is still intact.
Stage II – In a stage II sore, your skin shows evidence of damage, but the particular skin is damaged. The sore may appear as an abrasion or a blister at the surface and the damage under the skin may be more extensive.
Phase III – A stage 3 sore means the tissue damage expands through the full thickness of the pores and skin and into the subcutaneous tissue. Mainly because subcutaneous tissue is not as vascular as other tissue, a stage III sore can be very difficult to heal and again the sore may be much larger than can been noticed from the surface.
Stage IV : A stage IV sore consists of damage to muscle, tendons, ligaments, and also bone.
The most effective and least expensive method to deal with pressure sores is to take the appropriate steps to prevent them from occurring in the first place. A wound or sore prevention program should apply to every patient and health care practitioner in a facility and should include some or all of the following considerations.

Bedding and seating surfaces should spread pressure out there across the entire surface in contact with them rather than allow pressure to build beneath the bony prominences.
The surfaces should also allow the skin to ‘breathe’. For instance , allowing a patient to sit on the vinyl seat of a wheelchair can keep the skin moist around the butt and hips and a relatively affordable wheelchair cushion constructed of pressure reducing padding with a moisture wicking cover can prevent sores.
Mattresses, mattress overlays, and seat cushions might feature differing densities or even minimize sections so that pressure is not put on the areas where the bones are closest to the skin.
Heel or knee splints or braces that relieve pressure on those areas can be on individuals at increased risk.
Wheelchair padding, support, or a clapboard tray could be used to prevent sufferers from sliding down when sitting down which increases friction and shear.
Patient lifts or friction reducing devices, such as slide sheets, must be used to reposition patients rather than merely sliding them up in bed or perhaps a wheelchair.
Patients need to be repositioned frequently to allow the blood to flow to areas that have been under pressure so that proper oxygen levels can be restored and pressure can be relieved.
Washable or disposable bed pads or even undergarments that capture moisture and hold it away from the skin must be used for patients that are incontinent.
Understanding the factors that increase the likelihood of stress sores occurring, being able to identify the first indicators of developing sores, plus having an appropriate sore prevention system, including the necessary supplies available to execute the program, are all essential to providing appropriate care to individuals who may not be capable to care for themselves.

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