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FacilityWebsource

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Pressure Ulcers

 



Pressure ulcers, more commonly referred to as bedsores, are lesions that develop on the surface of the skin due to lack of mobility and prolonged pressure to a specific area of the body. At first, the skin becomes become red and irritated, eventually turning purple. If left untreated, the skin can break open and become infected. At facilitywebsoure.com, we understand that prevention is better than the cure, so we are offering an array of products that can help reduce the risk of developing bedsores as well as aid in the treatment of existing sores. From mattresses to wheelchair accessories and cushions to heel lifts, you are bound to find the perfect solution that suits your specific needs.


                                                Mattresses                                                                                              Cushions and Overlays                          

                      

All of our mattresses are therapeutically designed with a foam core to provide maximum pressure relief, comfort, and durability. We also carry multi-layer mattresses designed for advanced pressure distribution while also preventing friction and shearing. If you are looking to target a more specific area of the body, try our heel lifts that can also aid in the treatment of existing bedsores by creating a zero pressure cavity and air circulation to speed up the healing process. Also try our wheelchair cushions, made with viscous gel for optimized pressure reduction and comfort.

Still looking for more information about pressure ulcers? Below we cover all the hot topics from causes and symptoms to preventative care and treatments. 



Pressure Ulcers most commonly develop in the elderly or those with a medical condition that limits their ability to change positions, requires them to use a wheelchair, or confines them to a bed for extended periods of time. As mentioned above, the most common cause of bedsores is pressure from the body's weight pushing the skin against another surface such as a bed or wheelchair. Over time, this pressure against the skin reduces the blood supply to that area causing the affected tissue to become damaged and decayed. However there are 2 other main causes of bedsore that should not be overlooked.   

                           * Friction   - If you have thin, frail skin or poor blood circulation, pressure ulcers can also form as result of the skin rubbing                               against another surface

                           * Shearing - This occurs if the skin moves one way while the underlying bone moves in the opposite direction, causing the cell                          walls and blood vessels to stretch and tear

There are also other contributing factors that make one more susceptible to developing bedsores such as exposure to cold temperatures, age, and incontinence. Bedsores tend to appear on areas of the body that are more bony or heavy with cartilage such as heels, ankles, elbows, and hips. Below are diagrams depicting the most likely places for the bedsores to occur depending on the positioning of the body.

Back                                                                           Side                                                                           Stomach

                        


What are the tell-tale signs that a bedsore is developing? Well, a pressure ulcer begins as reddened skin that gets worse over time. After a while it forms a blister, then an open sore, and if left untreated long enough will eventually resemble a crater in the skin. To better classify the severity of bedsores, The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel has categorized them into 4 stages. 

                                                 

                                                  

There is also an unstageable pressure ulcer classification which means that the sore is covered with dead cells, or eschar, and therefore the depth of the sore cannot be determined.



As previously discussed, prevention is the best "treatment" for pressure ulcers. The most important aspect of preventative care for bedsores is the relief of pressure. However there are more measures that should be taken to prevent their development.

= Use items that can help reduce pressure such as special foam mattresses, overlays, gel cushions, and padding.                    (See above links for products related to pressure reduction)

= Regularly check the patient's body for any areas of red, irritated skin or rashes.

= Frequently turn and reposition the patient every 2 hours to relieve pressure. 

= Keep the skin dry and clean

= Change bedding frequently

A lot of the above mentioned preventative measures are also used in the treatment of bedsores. In the event that a bedsore does develop, there are different treatments depending on the extensiveness of the damage to the skin. The first step, once again, is to relieve the pressure from the affected area. Also specialized heel and elbow lifts or special padding should be used to relieve pressure depending on the location of the sore. Keeping the wound clean and removing dead tissue is a very important part in the treatment process, as open sores can be a breeding ground for infection. Antibiotics might also be administered in some cases where the infection becomes serious. If the sores are left untreated for a period of time, surgical debridement might be necessary to remove excess, dead tissue. 

The ways to treat pressure ulcers can be varied and numerous depending on the location and severity of the sore. If you want more detailed information about how to treat and prevent bedsores, check out our Resources section below for links and other information regarding pressure ulcers.

 


Still need more information regarding pressure ulcers? All of the links listed below will give you a more in-depth look at how pressure ulcers are caused, the different stages they go through, as well as ways to prevent and treat existing sores. 

National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel

Wikipedia - Pressure Ulcers

Expert Pages - Decubitus Ulcer Information

MedicineNet - Pressure Sore Definition

Salisbury NHS - Pressure Ulcer Prevention

Medline Plus - Pressure Ulcers

Spinal Injury Network - Prevention of Pressure Sores