Bed Sores

Bed or pressure sores, when they happen, do so when a person spends a lot of time in bed, not conscious, cannot feel pain or is unable to move. . Bed sores are also know as ulcers. These happen on the skin when they have pressure place on them from lying in bed, sitting in a wheelchair, and/or wearing a cast for a lengthy time period.

Why Does a Bed Sore Develop?

A bed sore comes about when the blood supply to an area of the body is cut off or prevented for a significant period of time, which can be two to three hours. As the skin dies, the bed sore first develops as a red area which can become purple. It is usually painful. If it is not treated properly, an actual sore opens on the skin and it becomes infected. If it is continually not treated or not treated properly, the size of the bed sore increases and it goes further into the body and can reach down to the muscle. Once a bed sore develops, it is often very slow to heal. Bed sores frequently happen on a person’s bottom (on the sacrum or iliac crest), or on the feet, particularly the heels of the feet.

Preventing Bed Sores

Bed sores are preventable if the proper measures are taken. Among the ways of doing this are daily examinations of the skin for signs of redness. There are other methods of preventing and/or impeding the further deterioration of a bed sore. These methods include: frequent turning and repositioning a person’s body; using soft padding in beds, chairs and wheelchairs to reduce the pressure to a particular area of the body; and maintaining the skin such that it is clean and dry.

Treatment for Bed Sores

In the first instance, your doctor is in the best position to determine a specific treatment for a bed sore. Adequate treatment must be taken to prevent the bed sore from getting worse, because treatment becomes harder or more difficult once the bed sore progresses beyond a red area of the skin. Treatment includes doing whatever is possible to reduce pressure from the infected area. This includes turning and proper padding. Treatment also includes protecting the wound or infected area with medicated gauze or other dressings made for this purpose. Keeping the wound clean is also important. When the wound becomes more severe, debridement (surgical removal of dead tissue) is often necessary. Medication to treat infections, such as antibiotics is also often required. If bed sores cause injury to a loved one, you should contact Ed Fox & Associates, Ltd.

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