Bed Sores Pictures

Jun 29 2011 Published by admin under Uncategorized

What are Bed sores?

Bed sores, also identified as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, are confined area of tissue death that are likely to progress when soft tissue is compressed between a bony prominence and an outside surface for an extended period of time. This kind of skin ulceration is mostly observed in patients who are bedridden and those who are improperly positioned in bed.

Because of the compression, blood flow to that area is radically reduced which causes blanching. The common compensatory response of the body when there is absent or reduced blood flow is vasodilation, so if the pressure is removed, the skin area takes on a brighter color or what we call reactive hyperemia. If the area blanches with fingertip pressure or if redness on the area fades away within 1 hour, tissue damage is negative. But if after one hour and there is still redness, then tissue damage exists. Other warning signs are discolored and swollen skin especially above the bony prominences and signs of infection.

In combination with pressure, there are few other forces which contribute to the formation of decubitus ulcers, such as shearing and friction. Shearing, which accounts for a high frequency of sacral bed sores, is the force applied against the skin surface when a patient is moved or repositioned in bed, by log rolling, pulling, pushing in bed. This action results in the straightening and tearing of small blood vessels, leading to a reduction of blood flow and later, necrosis. The second factor is friction. When two objects move across one another, for instance, when a client is pulled up in bed, the skin is rubbed against the bed sheet. This factor can eliminate the superficial layers of the skin, making it at risk to ulceration.

To prevent skin breakdown, it is essential to maintain proper skin care. The skin should be assessed once a day, paying particular attention to surfaces of bony prominences. The area must be kept clean and dry and free from irritation by urine, sweat, feces and others. The sacral area can be applied with a moisture-barrier cream. Massaging the bony prominences must be avoided since it will cause further deep tissue damage. If the tissue is already necrotic, it is an absolute must to get rid of it by debridement since necrotic or dead tissue is an perfect region for bacterial growth and has the capacity to seriously compromise healing of wound.

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