How to Recognize a Developing Bedsore
Pressure sores, also known as pressure ulcers or bed sores, are sores that occur on a person’s skin, often over joints or in other places where bone is close to skin. They are caused by a breakdown of tissue caused by staying in one position for too long. The first indication a bed sore might be forming is a reddening of the skin. This discoloration will often become a blister, then an open wound, then a crater in the flesh. If a pressure sore does form, the patient requires immediate medical attention. Bed sores can lead to serious infection and death if they go untreated.
There are several factors that may put nursing home patients at risk for bed sores. These include: being elderly, an inability to move or move well without assistance, malnourishment, being confined to a bed or wheelchair, incontinence, suffering from chronic health problems, fragile skin, and various mental conditions including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Developing pressure sores can indicate possible nursing home neglect.
Because of the risk posed to many nursing home residents, staff members must take precautions to keep patients from developing a pressure sore. The U.S. National Library of Medicine recommends residents who are unable to move on their own be moved every two hours to prevent the development of bed sores. These patients should also have daily examinations to identify possible pressure ulcers. Experts suggest facilities employ the use of various pillows, padding, blankets, and other items designed to reduce the risk of bed sores. Residents should also be provided with proper nutrition.
by Scott Distasio