You may think that pressure ulcers are the result of inadequate care or neglect, but most seniors and people who cannot move are at risk for these painful sores. According to statistics released by the Pressure Injury Advisory Panel, 2.5 million patients develop these wounds each year, and 60,000 patients die due to dangerous complications from these wounds. This remarkable statistic highlights the importance of receiving specialized care.
Fortunately, our center, with 15+ years of experience and having skilled nurses, can provide effective help to you and your loved ones. Our nurses offer Advanced Wound Care for a range of wounds, including pressure sores.
In this article, we will explain how pressure ulcers are formed and what you can do at each stage to prevent the progression of the ulcer.
Pressure ulcers or bedsores occur in areas of the skin that are under pressure for a long time. On the following circumstances, there is a possibility of bedsores:
Pressure ulcers may be called by other names:
If an immobile person is not positioned correctly and given good nutrition and skincare, these chronic sores can develop. The risk of pressure ulcers will significantly increase in the following condition:
If the blood supply to the skin is disrupted for more than two to three hours, bedsores will develop. At first, these ulcers are characterized by red and painful areas that gradually turn purple. If left untreated, the skin will break open, and these areas will become infected.
Unfortunately, pressure ulcers may deepen and progress to the muscles and bones. On the other hand, the healing process of these sores is very slow. In some cases, surgery is needed to speed up the recovery process.
The following areas are most at risk:
Pressure ulcers are divided into several stages based on severity:
|Stages||Wound Features||What to do||Recovery time|
|1||The vulnerable skin areas become red and warm. You may feel pain or itching in this condition. Vulnerable areas may also turn blue or purple in darker skins.||2 or 3 days|
|2||Open wounds and blisters appear. You will probably feel significant pain. In addition, the skin around the wound begins to discolor.||3 days to 3 weeks|
|3||In this stage, the ulcer is gone through deeper into the fat tissue.||Up to 4 months|
|4||A large wound is seen. At this stage, the muscles, bones, tendons, and joints may be involved. Infection is also a serious threat.||3 months to even years|
If the bottom of the ulcer is not visible and there is full-thickness tissue loss, the wound is not assigned a stage.
If the severity of the wound is significant, you will need specialized help for treatment. The healthcare provider and the wound care team consider the following options based on the severity of the sores:
If left untreated, bedsores can be life-threatening. Complications of bedsores include:
Pressure ulcers are preventable if an experienced caregiver or nurse properly inspects skin for areas of redness. If someone you love is at risk for bed sores, consider the following:
Consider the following tips for skin care:
In Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT), fluid and infection are drawn out from the wound to accelerate the healing process. Then a special bandage with a gentle vacuum pump is sealed over the wound.
This method is commonly used for long-lasting wounds such as pressure ulcers. Whether NPWT is beneficial for you depends on the type of wound and your medical condition.
Our experienced nurses at the Health & Care Professional Network Center have sufficient skills and certification to care for chronic wounds. If you live in Las Vegas and need to get these services at your place of residence, contact us or make an appointment online.