- 5 Months ago
What are Bedsores?
Bedsores, also called pressure sores or Decubitus ulcers are injuries to the skin and underlying tissues that result from prolonged pressure on the skin. People who are immobile due to an injury or illness are at a greater risk of getting bedsores. These bedsores can develop in some people with just a few hours of constant pressure ranging from mild reddening to severe craters that extent into the muscle or bone. The common sites include hips, shoulder blades, elbows, base of the spine, ankles, knees, heels and even between fingers and toes.
The other factors that can increase one's risk of developing bed sores include:
• Poor nutrition and hydration - An inadequate intake of fluids, protein, calories, minerals and vitamins in the daily diet, as they are essential for maintaining healthy skin and preventing breakdown of tissues.
• Muscle spasms - People who have muscle spasms and other involuntary muscle movement may also have an increased risk of developing pressure sores due to frequent friction or shearing.
• Medical conditions - Medical conditions such as diabetes and vascular disease affect circulation, thus parts of the body may not receive adequate blood flow, increasing one's risk of tissue damage.
• Fecal or urinary incontinence - People with bladder control problems are at an increased risk of pressure sores because the skin may frequently be moist, thus making it more likely to break down.
The signs and symptoms of bedsores are classified into stages according to wound severity:
• Stage 1 - Skin may be tender, itchy and painful. The skin is unbroken but appears pink and sunburned.
• Stage 2 - The skin is red, swollen and painful. The blisters may be broken and upper layers of skin begin to die.
• Stage 3 - The sore is broken through the skin and wound extends down to deeper layers of the skin tissue. Crater like ulcers are present.
• Stage 4 - The sore extends past the skin and into muscle, fat and bone tissue.
Pressure sores can cause serious infections, some of which are life-threatening. Contact your doctor immediately if you or your loved one has any symptoms of a pressure sore!