Bedsores result from pressure on the skin that affects the surface tissue and underlying tissue. Another name for bedsores is pressure ulcers. Bony areas of the body are most prone to bedsores, which is why they are often found on the heels, ankles, behind the knees, hips, shoulder blades, spine, buttocks, tailbone and back side of the head areas.
Ultimately, bedsores can be life threatening and complications include:
Patients become at risk for bedsores when a medical condition restricts their mobility. Patients who must lie in bed or a chair or who find it difficult to shift position are the most vulnerable.
It is vital that caregivers or hospital staff move patients frequently and keep an eye out for bedsores because they can develop quickly.
Common symptoms include:
Eventually the skin and tissue damage worsen and what started out as red, unbroken skin can develop into to a deep cut that goes through muscle and to the bone.
(Reference: Mayo Clinic)
Nursing homes are responsible for taking preventative measures so their residents do not develop bedsores. Maintaining good nutrition and fluid intake is vital. Ensuring the patient is frequently moved is another precaution. Using cushions or special mattresses can relieve pressure, as can elevating the person's head (no more than 30 degrees). It is important to keep the skin clean and dry. Using lotion on dry skin can help using talcum power at friction points can also help to protect the skin. Caregivers should change the resident's bedding and clothing frequently. They should inspect the skin daily for signs of developing pressure sores.
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