Pressures sores, commonly referred to as bedsores, are skin injuries that occur when pressure has been applied on areas of the body for long periods of time. These injuries can range from minor to severe but are usually treatable. While not always true, pressure sores can be a sign of neglect. If neglect is suspected, contact an attorney for advice.
What Is a Pressure Sore?
A pressure sore is a skin injury that occurs when a pressure has been applied to a part of the body for long periods. When this happens, pressure limits the blood supply in the area, resulting in skin and tissue damage. Pressures sores can also be caused by friction or shearing. Excessive moisture can increase the damage caused by pressure, friction, or shearing. Pressures sores can take a few hours or a few days to develop.
While anyone can develop pressures sores, they commonly occur in people who have limited mobility. Bedridden people and those who spend long periods in wheelchairs are most at risk. The elderly, especially those in nursing homes, are at the greatest risk. While not always true, pressure sores can be a sign of neglect. If neglect is suspected, contact The Fernandez Firm for legal counsel.
How To Prevent Pressure Sores
There are several ways to prevent pressures sores. If a person is semi-bedridden, it is suggested that the person is removed from the bed for a few hours each day to relieve pressure. For completely bedridden people, a family member or medical professional must turn the person to balance pressure across the skin surfaces.
There are also pressure-relieving products available. These products are placed under the individual and help relieve and balance pressure. These products come in the form of mattress pads and seat cushions.
How To Treat Pressure Sores
Once pressure sores occur, they have to be treated quickly to prevent further injuries and infection. While pressure sores occur primarily on the skin, severe pressure sores can damage the underlying tissue. Treatment for pressures sores depends on the severity of the wound. The severity of pressure sores is divided into four categories.
In stage 1, the skin has not broken but is usually red and hot to the touch. In stage 2, the ulcer has broken the top two layers of skin. In stage 3, the top two layers of skin and the fatty tissue have been damaged. In the fourth stage of pressure sores, skin, tendons, ligaments, and bone can be damaged. To treat Stage 1 pressures sores, remove the pressure and keep the area dry and clean since the kin has not broken. Providing extra padding or making sure that movement prevents pressure.
To treat Stage 2 pressure sores, you also want to remove pressure by adding extra padding. At this stage, the skin has broken, and a wound dressing is applied.
Stage 3 pressure sores also require the removal of pressure. Since the injury has reached the fatty tissue antibiotics have to be prescribed to help to heal. Wound care and special debridement agents also have to be applied to the wound to prevent further injury.
Stage 4 pressures sores are the most severe and require intensive medical care to treat. In this stage, surgery may be recommended to heal the injury. Healing from this stage is long and tedious. This level of injury can takes years to heal.
Prompt Treatment is Crucial
Pressures sores at any stage should be taken with the most urgency. Anyone can help treat a pressure sore, but medical attention is always advised. Knowing how to prevent and treat a pressure sore can help prevent years of pain and damage.