Bed sores are a common and dangerous complication for people who are bedridden or have limited mobility. Find out how to prevent bed sores with these tips.
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Bed sores are a common and often painful problem for people who are confined to bed. Also called pressure sores or decubitus ulcers, these injuries occur when constant pressure on the skin cuts off blood flow to the underlying tissue. The resulting injury is most often found on the bony prominences of the body such as the heels, hips, and tailbone. Bed sores can range from being a nuisance to being life-threatening, so it’s important to take steps to prevent them.
This guide will help you understand what bed sores are, how to prevent them, and what to do if you develop one.
What are bed sores?
Bed sores, also known as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, are sores that develop when someone is confined to a bed or chair. The lack of movement causes increased pressure on certain areas of the body, which cuts off blood flow to the area and damages the tissue. Bed sores most often occur on the heels, ankles, hips or tailbone.
Causes of bed sores
Bed sores are a common and sometimes serious complication for people who are confined to bed. Also called pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, they occur when there is continued pressure on one area of the body, causing the skin and underlying tissues to break down.
Most often, bed sores develop on bony areas of the body, such as the heels, ankles, hips or tailbone. They can also occur on the elbows, shoulders or back. Bed sores can range from small lesions to large open wounds that expose bone.
There are several factors that can contribute to the development of bed sores, including:
-Prolonged immobility. This can occur due to illness, injury or paralysis.
-Decreased sensation in the affected area. This can be caused by nerve damage, such as that seen in people with diabetes or spinal cord injuries.
-Poor nutrition. This can lead to a decrease in blood flow and healing capacity.
-Moisture. Incontinence or sweating can make the skin more susceptible to breakdown.
-Friction and shear forces. These occur when two surfaces rub together, such as when a person is dragged across a bedsheet.
Who is at risk of developing bed sores?
Anyone can get bed sores, but some people are at greater risk than others. People who are most at risk of developing bed sores include those who:
-Are paralyzed or have limited mobility
-Have a medical condition that affects blood flow
-Have a medical condition that makes it hard to move or change positions
-Have sensitive skin
-Are malnourished or dehydrated
How can bed sores be prevented?
Bed sores, also called pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, can occur when a person is confined to a bed or wheelchair and doesn’t shift their position frequently enough. The lack of movement means that blood flow to the area is reduced, and the skin and underlying tissues begin to break down. The most common places for bed sores to form are on the hips, buttocks, heels, and shoulders.
There are a few things you can do to help prevent bed sores:
– Keep the skin clean and dry. This means washing regularly, using a mild soap, and drying completely. Moisturizing the skin can also help to keep it healthy.
– Avoid tight-fitting clothing and footwear. Anything that rubs against the skin can irritate it and make it more vulnerable to sores.
– reposition yourself often if you’re confined to bed or a chair. This helps improve blood flow to the area and prevents pressure on any one spot for too long.
– Use specialized equipment. If you’re at risk for bed sores, your doctor may recommend using pillows, mattresses, or other devices that help reduce pressure on susceptible areas of your body.
What are the signs that a bed sore is developing?
The most important thing to remember about bed sores is that they are preventable. But in order to prevent them, you need to be able to recognize the signs that a bed sore is developing. Here are some of the most common signs:
-Redness or discoloration of the skin
-Swelling or tenderness in the area
-Skin that feels hot to the touch
-Pain in the area
-Open sores or wounds
If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take action right away. The sooner you treat a bed sore, the better your chances are of preventing it from getting worse.
How are bed sores treated?
Bed sores are treated by cleaning the sore and removing any dead tissue. This can be done with a sterile saline solution or a diluted vinegar solution. Once the dead tissue is removed, the wound is then covered with a sterile dressing. The dressing will need to be changed daily or as needed.
Can bed sores be prevented from recurring?
There are many ways to prevent bed sores, but the most important thing is to keep the skin clean and well-moisturized. Bed sores typically occur in people who are unable to move on their own, so it’s important to keep the skin clean and dry by using a mild soap and water. Avoiding pressure on the skin is also crucial, so make sure to use a mattress that evenly supports the body.
For people who are unable to move on their own, there are special devices that can be used to relieve pressure on the skin. These devices can be placed under the mattress or on top of it, and they help by distributing weight evenly over a larger area.
When to see a doctor
If you think you might have bed sores, it’s important to see a doctor. Left unchecked, bed sores can become infected. Additionally, people with bed sores are at an increased risk for developing sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition caused by infection.
The best way to prevent bed sores is to keep your skin clean and moisturized. Additionally, it’s important to avoid putting too much pressure on one area for extended periods of time. If you’re unable to move on your own, be sure to ask your caregiver to help you shift positions frequently.
To prevent bed sores, it is important to keep the skin clean and dry, to move regularly, and to avoid pressure on any one area for too long. If a bed sore does develop, it is important to seek medical attention immediately to treat the wound and avoid further complications.