When you or a loved one develops bedsores, there may be many questions running through your mind. We answer the most frequently asked questions regarding this injury.
Bedsores are injuries to skin and underlying tissue resulting from prolonged pressure on the skin.
You can take steps to help prevent bedsores and help them heal, but some never heal completely.
Who is at greatest risk of getting bedsores?
Those who have medical conditions that limit their mobility.
Anyone who struggles to change positions or spends most of their time in a bed or chair is at greatest risk. The most common risk factors for developing pressure ulcers are:
Yes, bedsores go by many names, which can sometimes cause confusion. Other common names are:
What causes pressure sores?
Pressure sores can develop over hours or days and for many reasons.
The majority of causes have to do with one thing – pressure and contact with the skin. From friction to failure to reposition a patient, Decubitus ulcers appear due to a failure to take the necessary precautions.
For this reason, nursing homes have to be particularly vigilant in their care of patients at a high risk for developing bedsores, or those who had pre-existing pressure sores when starting their care.
For a more in-depth look at the causes of pressure ulcers, please read our article on the causes and liability for bedsores.
Where can pressure ulcers develop?
Pressure sores can develop anywhere on the body that comes in contact with pressure or friction.
This is particularly true where the patient has some form of pre-existing condition that limits their blood flow, or makes the skin weak.
For residents who use wheelchairs, or are mostly chair bound, bedsores often appear on the:
For people who need to stay in bed, pressure sores often develop on the:
How are Pressure Sores Diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider will diagnose a pressure sore, into one of the four stages, by inspecting the skin.
They are then “staged” according to their appearance and the symptoms present within and on the patient.
What are the different stages of decubitus ulcers?
Pressure sores are categorized into 4 different medical stages:
Stage 1 symptoms:
Stage 2 symptoms:
Once a pressure ulcer reaches stage III, it has now gone through the second layer
of skin and into the fat tissue.
This stage is identified by the tissue loss accelerating and ligaments and tendons now beginning to deteriorate.
Stage 3 symptoms:
These sores are the most serious. At this point, the pressure sore has reached the bone. Stage four ulcers can affect the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints.
Stage 4 symptoms:
What are the treatments of bedsores?
The recommended treatment for bedsores depends on how far they have developed. Treatment at each stage can include:
Yes, bedsores can be prevented by frequently repositioning the patient to avoid stress on the skin.
Other strategies include taking good care of the skin, maintaining good nutrition and fluid intake, quitting smoking, managing stress, and exercising daily.
Anyone at risk of bedsores should be taken care of with regular routines to l reposition them. This helps to encourage good blood circulation and air flow to all parts of the skin.
Bedridden patients should be repositioned on either side at least once every 15 minutes, while others should be repositioned about once an hour. Patients could be assisted or advised to lift themselves using their upper body strength, if possible.
Selecting cushions or a mattress that relieves pressure can also help prevent the development of bedsores.
Donut cushions should not be used, as they can focus pressure on surrounding tissue.
The basics of proper skin care are to keep the skin clean and dry, but moisturized and healthy enough to promote proper healing and skin nutrition:
No. While an open wound may seem like something that can spread easily, bedsores themselves are not contagious.
However, it is critical to note that the infection caused by these pressure ulcers can very easily spread throughout the patient’s body.
No. While the treatment for a pressure sore in its early stages is relatively simple, it cannot be to heal without treatment.
If left untreated, pressure sores will advance through the stages, becoming extremely difficult to treat and can even lead to death. If a pressure sore does develop, it is important to begin treatment immediately.
There are a variety of treatments available to manage pressure sores and promote healing, depending on the severity of the pressure sore.
Speaking to a specialist can help reduce the risk and severity of infection. For more information, read our article: What Happens When Bedsores are Left Untreated?
The information available about bedsores is vast and sometimes overwhelming. But for those that have been impacted by maltreatment that caused or aggravated a pressure ulcer, this information can be vital.
If you or a loved one is a victim of this kind of maltreatment, neglect, or abuse, call Thompson Law Firm today for a case consultation.
Our team of lawyers work closely with their injury clients across Arizona, communicating clearly whilst offering reassurance and empathy through an often very difficult and emotional process. During the free consultation, our lawyers will discuss your concerns before creating a comprehensive plan for you, while also assessing the strength of your claim.
CALL (480) 634-7480 & SPEAK TO ONE OF OUR ATTORNEYS