Bedsores

Bedsores or decubitus ulcers are skin lesions triggered by extended pressure placed on various parts of the body. Even though bedsores usually start out as a skin lesion, it can spread to affect a larger and deeper area of tissues, even reaching out to the bone. The condition is a serious medical condition and if left untreated, it can be deadly.

What are the causes?

Bedsores are triggered by pressure, friction or shearing forces that disrupts with normal blood circulation to various parts of the body and tissues in these areas. Once the flow of blood is blocked, there is inadequate number of essential nutrients and oxygen received by the cells.

If this continues for an extended period of time, the cells and tissues eventually die and a lesion develops.

What are the types?

Bedsores

Bedsores are triggered by pressure, friction or shearing forces that disrupts with normal blood circulation to various parts of the body and tissues in these areas.

Bedsores are not limited to a specific area of the body. Nevertheless, the bedsores typically develop over bony regions and those that have cartilage such as the hip, lower back, tailbone, elbows and the ankles.

Who are at risk?

The bedsores are common among individuals who stay in a single position for extended periods of time. Those who are at risk include bedridden patients, elderly, those who have diabetes and individuals who are bound to wheelchairs.

Management

There are options in managing bedsores including debridement and vacuum-assisted closure. Antibiotics taken orally are also used to prevent infection and a healthy diet is required to prevent malnutrition and ensure the intake of vital nutrients.

Debridement

This is performed in various ways and the doctor selects the ideal approach based on the condition of the bedsores. This involves the removal of the damaged and/or dead tissue present. Remember that the dead tissue disrupts with the healing and should be removed to promote better healing.

  • Sharp debridement is carried out by slicing off the dead tissue using scissors or scalpel.
  • Biological debridement is performed by using maggots that eat the dead tissue from the bedsore without harming the healthy tissue.
  • Autolytic debridement utilizes the body’s own enzymes.
  • Chemical debridement involves topical enzymes that help with healing and removal of dead tissue.

Vacuum-assisted closure

This is used to promote healing of the bedsores and other wounds. The procedure involves a vacuum tube that is connected to the bedsore. The vacuum draws out the moisture from the ulcer as well as shortens the healing process as well as reducing the risk for infection.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on bedsores is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage bedsores with proper wound care by taking a standard first aid course with Vancouver First Aid.

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