Decubitus Ulcer Information

Synopsis: Another great resource on decubitus ulcers, or pressure sores. Includes preventative measures for avoiding decubitus ulcers. Should be done by all care professionals in charge of patients who are at risk.

“Bedsores, Decubitus Ulcer : Definition, Causes, Symptoms, Prevent And Treatment
Friday, July 6th 2012. | Skin, Hair and Nails
Decubitus Ulcer Definition
Pressure sores also called decubitus ulcers, chronic wounds are of variable size, caused by constant pressure. They affect both the upper layers of the skin and tissue that the deeper layers and bones.

Particularly sensitive skin areas are those that are located directly on the surface of bones: heel, toe, ankle, knee, iliac crest, sacrum, scapula, vertebrae projections, elbows, occiput.

Elderly patients are more frequently affected by pressure ulcers than younger people.

Decubitus Ulcer Causes
Pressure on the skin associated with irritation and sharp effects causes skin damage. Due to an increase in pressure, especially in bedridden patients, the blood can not circulate properly in the affected areas, hampering the supply of oxygen and nutrients to tissues. The skin eventually dies, followed by tissue located below.

Risk factors for pressure ulcers:

Immobilization (prolonged sitting or lying)
Diabetes Mellitus
Circulatory disorders (frequently in the legs, especially in the case of smoker’s legs)
Clammy skin (in cases of incontinence)
External pressure, especially due to a plaster or other medical materials
Pressure ulcers are classified into four stages of increasing severity :

Stage I : permanent redness and sometimes feeling of warmth at the affected area of skin, the skin is still intact
Stage II : blistering skin, scratching of the skin and sometimes superficial wound is already happening
Stage III : all layers of skin and connective tissue under the skin are affected. A deep wound occurs.
Stage IV : deep wound extending to the muscle tissue and bone

Decubitus Ulcer Disorders (Symptoms)
At first blush that does not recover to the pressure, feeling of warmth.
Stage II: blistering, abrasions of the skin and pain (if the patient suffers no disease causing pain as less severe diabetes).
Advanced stage: deep wound that may be accompanied by severe pain.

Bedsores, Decubitus Ulcer
Decubitus Ulcer Examinations (Diagnosis)
Diagnosis is based on the clinical picture.
It is essential to identify and deal with risk factors.
If necessary, x-ray to check that the bone beneath the ulcer is not infected.
Treatment Options
The treatment of pressure ulcers requires lots of patience! It is therefore essential to prevent their occurrence (see below).

The redness and warmth are a warning signal indicating that the skin should be relieved (frequent moves). Ointments and creams can reduce the irritation. Areas of open wounds are treated with ointments and bandages anti inflammatory promoting healing. Wherever possible, it should remove the dead tissue.

If pressure sores do not heal and the patient has large areas of dead skin, surgery is necessary. To this end, the ulcer should first be thoroughly cleaned and prepared.

Then a piece of skin taken from another part of the patient’s body is transplanted to the wound. The bandage stays in place several days after the operation so as not to impede the healing of the transplanted tissue.

Possible Complications
Wound infection and sometimes bones located below (osteomyelitis).
Recurrence of ulcer after healing.
After surgery, there is a risk of skin graft rejection, which then dies.

Preventive Measures
Pressure ulcer prevention is an absolute necessity!
Raise the pressure!
Turn and reposition the pressure on a larger area
Change position (approximately every two hours in immobilized patients)
Mobilize the patient as much as possible
Skin care, especially in cases of dry skin
Perform gymnastic exercises as soon as the patient’s condition permits
Do not use too hot water for washing
Balanced diet containing enough vitamins and minerals
In people at risk, monitor areas with persistent redness and warming.”

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