What are pressure sores?
Pressure sores are areas of injured skin and tissue. They are usually caused by sitting or lying in one position for too long. This puts pressure on certain areas of the body. The pressure can reduce the blood supply to the skin and the tissues under the skin. When a change in position doesn't occur often enough and the blood supply gets too low, a sore may form. Pressure sores are also called bedsores, pressure ulcers and decubitus ulcers. What are the symptoms of a pressure sore?
There are 4 stages of pressure sores. Symptoms at each stage include the following: Stage 1. The affected skin looks red and may feel warm to the touch. The area may also burn, hurt or itch. In people who have dark skin, the pressure sore may have a blue or purple tint. Stage 2. The affected skin is more damaged in a stage 2 pressure sore, which can result in an open sore that looks like an abrasion or a blister. The skin around the wound may discolored. The area is very painful. Stage 3. These types of pressure sores usually have a crater-like appearance due to increased damage to the tissue below the skin's surface. This makes the wound deeper. Stage 4. This is most serious type of pressure sore. The skin and tissue is severely damaged, causing a large wound. Infection can occur at this stage. Muscles, bones, tendons and joints can be affected by stage 4 pressure sores. Who gets pressure sores?
Anyone who sits or lies in one position for a long time might get pressure sores. You are more likely to get pressure sores if you are paralyzed, use a wheelchair or spend most of your time in bed. However, even people who are able to walk can develop pressure sores when they must stay in bed because of an illness or an injury. Some chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hardening of the arteries, make it hard for pressure sores to heal because of poor blood circulation. Peripheral vascular disease,MI, Stroke,Multiple trauma,Musculoskeletal disorders/fractures/contractures,Gibleed , Spinal cord injury (e.g., decreased sensory perception, muscle spasms),Neurological disorders (e.g., Guillain-Barre', multiple sclerosis),Unstable and/or chronic medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, renal disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure),History of previous pressure ulcer,Preterm neonates, Dementia, Recent surgical patient.
Where on the body can you get pressure sores?
Pressure sores usually develop over bony parts of the body that don't have much fat to pad them. Pressure sores are most common on the heels and on the hips. Other areas at risk for pressure sores include the base of the spine (tail bone), the shoulder blades, the backs and sides of the knees, and the back of the head. How are pressure sores treated?
There are several things you can do to help pressure sores heal: * Relieving the pressure that caused the sore
* Treating the sore itself
* Improving nutrition and other conditions to help the sore heal What can be done to reduce pressure on the sore?
Don't lie on pressure sores. Use foam pads or pillows to take pressure off the sore. Special mattresses, mattress covers, foam wedges or seat cushions can help support you in bed or in a chair to reduce or relieve pressure. Try to avoid resting directly on your hip bone when you're lying on your side. Use pillows under one side so that your weight rests on the fleshy part of your buttock instead of on your hip bone. Also, use pillows to keep your knees and ankles apart. When lying on your back, place a pillow under your lower calves to lift your ankles slightly off the bed. When lying in bed, change your position at least every 2 hours. When sitting in a chair or wheelchair, sit upright and straight. An upright, straight position will allow you to move more easily and help prevent new sores. You should change positions every 15 minutes when sitting in a chair or wheelchair. If you cannot move by yourself, have your caregiver...
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