Pressure Ulcers/ Decubitus Ulcers Bedsores Treatment
Table of Contents
What Are Bedsores?
Bedsores, also known as Pressure Ulcers or Decubitus Ulcers, typically form on the skin of an individual who must remain bedridden or seated for prolonged periods of time. They form in places where the skin is bearing the body’s weight, in particular areas where the bone is just below the skin. For example, the tailbone, buttocks, shoulder blades, or back of the cranium might become afflicted by bedsores if the individual lays on his or her back for extended periods of time. In other areas, the weight of the body is not compressing the skin as much, and the risk is not as great.
After many hours or days of bearing the weight of the individual, the afflicted area becomes abraded when the individual fidgets or moves. This irritates the skin, turning it red. Over time, the skin may break or crack, and it may become infected. If the individual continues to lie down or sit on the affected area, the pressure will restrict blood flow to the wound, thus preventing it from healing. Continued pressure and abrasion results in an open wound, or ulcer.
Signs & Symptoms of Bedsores
The following are some symptoms of bedsores. Again, examine the skin in areas where it supports the weight of the body. Look for the following:
- Changes in color or texture
- Sensitivity or Tenderness
- Temperature does not match the surrounding skin
- Infectious discharge from the affected area
If you start to notice these symptoms, try to shift your position in bed (or in your seat) to remove pressure from the affected area. If you see no sign of improvement within 24-48 hours, call a doctor. Also call a doctor if you see signs of an infection, such as drainage, an unpleasant odor, an increase in redness, or warmth or swelling around a sore.
What Causes Pressure Ulcers?
As stated earlier, three primary factors contribute to the development of pressure ulcers / bedsores:
Over time, as these forces continue to act on the skin, it can become damaged, and if it fails to heal properly, it may result in an ulcer.
Risk Factors Of Pressure Ulcers
Several factors can contribute to the formation of pressure ulcers. Some of the more common ones include:
How to Prevent Bedsores / Pressure Ulcers
There are a few basic principles that can dramatically reduce the chance of developing bedsores if the individual puts them into practice.
- Keep the affected area clean and dry.
- Change position frequently.
- Use pillows, foam mattresses, and/or other soft surfaces to distribute the pressure of the patient’s weight.
- Check the skin often for redness or irritation.
- Stay hydrated; eat healthy food.
How to Treat Pressure Ulcers
All of these tips for preventing an ulcer will also be employed when treating them. If you have one, you will need to stay hydrated, change your position frequently, etc. However, you will also want the assistance of a physician or team who specializes in wound care. This group will prove invaluable by covering all of your bases and putting you on the swiftest path to recovery.
There are a number of other important methods that may be employed for treating an ulcer once it has formed. Here are a few:
Removal of Dead Tissue/Debridement
If the ulcer has worsened to the point where necrosis has developed, then it is necessary to remove the dead tissue to enable healthy tissue to grow in its place. Debridement is a form of surgery involving cutting away dead tissue, and once it is performed, a “healthy” wound remains. As that wound is treated, healthy tissue will grow back.
Cleaning and Dressing Wounds
After diagnosing an ulcer, your caregiver will bandage your wound properly, with appropriate topicals for minimizing infection and facilitating healing. They will continue to inspect and treat the wound, and apply fresh bandages.
Depending on the nature of the wound, your provider may prescribe medication to help manage pain.
Choose Wound Care OC For Pressure Ulcers & Bedsores Treatment
If you or someone you know is at risk of developing a pressure ulcer, or perhaps already has one, give our office a call. At Wound Care OC, we treat all kinds of ulcers, and have probably handled a case similar to yours countless times. We know exactly what you need to get well again. Never underestimate the power of a specialist: Give our professionals a chance, and you will see why we are the best option for wound treatment in Orange County.