Pressure Sores which is also called as ‘Pressure wounds’ are formed due to the damage to the skin and primary tissue because of the stable pressure or abrasion to that particular area. It mainly affects the elder people who has reduced mobility or restricted to the bed or chair. It is denoted by other names such as Bed sores and Stress ulcer.
The areas in the body such as elbows, heels, rear of the head and the tailbone possess greater risk for pressure sores. If left untreated the tissue will die due to insufficient blood flow. In Healthabove60, to the treat the patients under emergency condition doctor on call is available. Once the doctor is called for he/she will arrive and evaluate the patient and treat them accordingly.
If the person is confined to bed for longer period due to ailment, the areas of the skin will be in contact with the mattress or chair and due to continuous irritation the color of the skin tends to change. This shows the sign of skin ulceration.
There are four levels of Pressure sore grades,
Grade I Change in the skin color, blue, red, purple or black.
Grade II Damage to the superficial layer of the skin.
Grade III Necrosis of the skin.
Grade IV Necrosis of the skin along with other structures such as ligaments and bone.
It leads to serious problems if not managed. It causes the following secondary infections,
- Sepsis – Presence of bacteria in the blood which enters through the blood stream.
- Cellulitis – The tissue will be inflamed causing redness and enlargement
- Infections of the bone and joint
- Formation of pus
- Malignancy of squamous cells
- It mainly targets the older people as their skin tends to be delicate and thin, hence they have greater chance of developing Pressure sore due to extended stay in the bed.
- Those who have poor health conditions
- Those who have poor mental state
- Paralysis and static
- Sitting or lying down for long time
- Over weight and malnourished
- Advanced age (> 65 yrs)
- Cigar smoking
- Urinary and fecal incontinence
Person who uses wheel chair develops pressure sore on the areas which have the contact with the chair continuously. It includes buttocks or tailbone, spine and the rear part of the arms or legs, shoulder blades.
For a bedridden person, the pressure sore can occur in ear rims, rear and sides of the head, shoulder parts, bones in the hip, tailbone or lower back, heels, ankles or toes, knee back or sides.
The important aspect of pressure sore is awareness about it. The skin damage can be avoided by reducing the pressure and time to the areas in contact and thus improving the skin quality.
A proper arrangement can be made and also instructed to other care givers. A home care nurse can be accommodated to take special care of the patient in order to prevent and the spread of pressure sore. Healthabove60 arranges exclusive home care services such as doctor on call, nurses, etc to take care of your special ones as it requires regular nursing evaluation for people who are at high risk.
Person who is restricted to wheel chair is advised to shift their position every fifteen minutes. Those patients who are bedridden would need to change their position every two hours and it should be followed in the night also and lying on the straight position should be avoided.
Skin care to prevent Pressure sore
- Need to check the skin daily for any color change or redness.
- Exact moisture should be maintained to avoid skin damage
- Usage of moisturizing lotions or creams to prevent dryness
- Avoiding massage of the bony areas because the skin will be thin and delicate
- To eat healthy and wholesome foods
- Practice of hygienic habits
- To quit smoking
- Maintenance of certain level of activity
The treatment mode depends on the severity of the pressure sore. It includes,
- Changing the position while sitting or lying down regularly
- Use of exclusive or special made mattresses and beds to reduce the pressure
- To dress the open skin spaces to thwart further infection
- Regular dressing to maintain skin moist and dry
- Use of drugs and ointments to cure the infection
- Surgical treatment to excise the damaged tissue and skin grafts
- Intake of nutrition rich foods