Bedsores can occur when areas of the body do not get proper blood flow and circulation. These are unfortunately common for patients who are in wheelchairs and who are bedridden. Those patients who have little to no mobility are at a high risk. Some of the areas of the body that are most at risk are those bony areas that already have reduced blood flow, such as the elbows and hips. Some other terms for these sores include skin ulcers and pressure sores.
The best method of treatment is actually prevention. By being proactive and keeping the sores from forming in the first place, you will not have to worry about the health issues that can result from these sores. They can be life threatening in many cases.
The first thing that you need to do is to make sure that you relieve the pressure on the areas of the body where the sores are present. Repositioning patients is also a good preventative measure. In fact, repositioning immobile patients every two hours is essential for patients and should be part of the nursing home regimen.
Catching the bedsores at stage one, or at stage two at the latest, is important. When you catch them at these stages, it is possible for them to heal in many patients. Still, it can take several weeks or months for them to heal completely. After the sores progress to stage three and four, healing becomes far more difficult. They may not respond to treatment at all and the doctor may then only offer help with the patient’s pain.
As the bedsores progress, they will often become infected. Meningitis, sepsis, and other conditions can set in as well. In many cases, the result is death for the patient.
Different things can cause bedsores. Having hard beds is a huge problem and can put patients at a higher risk. Using special mattresses that are better for weight distribution can be very helpful. Using foam and gel pads on the bed can help as well. Ensure the patient has a proper diet and proper hydration as well. A nutritious diet can help to boost immunity levels. Staying hydrated is important for the health of the skin.
Remove excess moisture from the body by keeping the patient clean and dry at all times. They need clean and dry clothing and linen.
For a bedsore to heal properly, it is vital to remove the dead tissue. Various types of debridement to remove the tissue, such as enzyme debridement and mechanical debridement can help. In some cases, surgical debridement, which actually cuts away the dead skin, is needed. Naturally, all of these require a medical professional to perform properly.
Keeping the bedsores clean and covered is very important. If they are open wounds, they will need cleaning with saline solution. This will help to prevent infection. Covering the wound will ensure that nothing gets into it that could cause an infection.
In some cases, the doctors will prescribe certain types of medications to help with the bedsores. These can include antibiotics, which can help reduce and eliminate infection. In some cases, muscle relaxants and even pain medication may be in order. It depends on the case and what the doctor believes is the best course of action.
If you find bedsores on your loved one, you can be sure it is an act of negligence. The patient needs to be removed from the facility and will need to have immediate medical attention. Contact the authorities to investigate the facility. You may also want to contact an attorney that specializes in nursing home negligence and abuse.