Plenty of us have heard of bedsores, an ailment that’s more accurately known as a pressure ulcer. And in fact it sounds strangely old-fashioned, which might make you think that you’re not likely to suffer from them in the modern age.
In reality, having areas of the skin that become damaged due to prolonged periods of pressure on one area is not uncommon. That means it’s important to know the symptoms, stages and causes in order to treat this condition effectively, and understand when it’s developing.
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Symptoms To Look Out For
If you experience any redness or discoloration on your skin after sitting or lying down for an extended period, it could be a sign that you are on the road to suffering from a pressure ulcer.
Other symptoms for bedsores include tenderness and painful patches on the affected area, as well as itching and burning sensations in some cases. If left untreated these can develop into open sores which secrete fluids and are more than a little bothersome.
There are other types of skin irritation and rashes that can occur, like those caused by allergic reactions. The beginnings of a bed sore should be distinct enough to be distinguishable.
Stages Of Pressure Ulcer Development
There are four stages which indicate how serious your condition is:
- Stage 1 involves mild discoloration
- Stage 2 shows blistering along with broken skin
- Stage 3 brings exposed tissue
- Finally at stage 4 there will be deep, weeping lesions, along with damage to underlying muscle and bone tissue
Obviously you want to avoid acquiring pressure ulcers in the first place, but if you are able to recognize these signs and take action sooner rather than later, you’ll be in a better position.
Bear in mind that if you’re in a facility receiving medical treatment, you don’t necessarily have a responsibility to detect and deal with pressure ulcers. In fact if you suffer from a severe case after a stay in hospital, filing a bedsore lawsuit will let you claim compensation for discomfort and distress caused by negligent treatment.
Causes Of Bedsores
Bedsores occur when there’s too much pressure applied to the skin over an extended period of time (more than two hours) in one particular spot.
Sitting or lying down for long periods without shifting position regularly stops blood flow from reaching certain parts of body tissue, resulting in damage occurring beneath the surface where it cannot always be seen easily.
This lack-of-circulation issue can also happen if someone has poor circulation due their age, or as a result of medical conditions such as diabetes. So some people are simply more susceptible to this type of malady than others.
Cures For Bedsores
The best way to counteract pressure ulcers is prevention. Avoid sustained compression of the skin, and the circulation issues this brings with it, through regular state changes. Standing up every 20 minutes if possible makes a big difference, plus using cushioning devices like bed mats or seat cushions when necessary can help.
Secondly, treating existing bedsores requires good hygiene practices, including cleaning & dressing wounds appropriately (ideally by qualified professionals).
In addition, medication prescribed by doctors such as antibiotics or painkillers, may also help depending upon severity.
Ultimately, healing depends largely upon an individual’s own immune system strength, so a nourishing diet high in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids should all contribute towards improving overall physical and mental health, thus helping speed up the recovery process too.
The bottom line
We all need to do our bit to be on the lookout for bedsores, both on our own bodies and in the case of any friends or family members that might suffer from them.
It’s also useful to know that depending on our circumstances, we may have a right to claim compensation if we acquire bedsores as a result of the actions of a third party.