Anyone that has spent time in a hospital or visited someone spending a prolonged time in a hospital understands the issue of pressure sores, also known as bedsores or pressure ulcers. These are skin and tissue injuries that result when an area of the body has received extended pressure. This problem normally accompanies parts of […]
Category : Wound Treatment
Proper Wound Care for a Bedsore
Wound care for a bedsore usually requires extensive education and training of patients, healthcare providers, caregivers and families to ensure the patient’s health. Taking steps to prevent the condition is essential, as is appropriate, timely intervention when a wound appears.
Wound management is extensive, often involving the development of a comprehensive care plan that considers every factor creating the problem. The factors involved are those that contribute to and affect the outcome of the wound, along with the health of the patient. Because the response to treatment is different for each patient, no single discipline and methodology can meet every need of the patient suffering with a wound.
Providing Wound Optimal Care
The best type of wound care for a bedsore usually involves a well-educated, dedicated team of multi-discipline caregivers working in unison to assist the patient.
Bedsores, pressure sores, decubitus ulcers and pressure ulcers all refer to the same medical condition. Typically, the sore is the result of pressure, friction or shearing to skin and underlying tissue on a bony prominence of the body. These areas can include an ankle, hipbone, sacrum, tailbone, heal, shoulder blade, shoulder, back or any area with minimal or no body fat.
When left untreated, or poorly managed, a mild or moderate bedsore can quickly progress to advancing stages, causing life threatening problems for the patient. Because of that, it is essential to provide the best wound care possible.
Common methodologies involved in pressure ulcer management include:
Prevention: The Avoidance of Necessary Wound Care
Nearly every type of bedsore can be minimized, or eliminated altogether, by repositioning the patient every 15 to 30 minutes. This is because decubitus ulcers caused by pressure are known to produce ischemia (lack of blood flow) to underlying skin and tissue. There are numerous factors contributing to the development of a bedsore. Some of these include:
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Chronic condition
- Impaired sensation
- Steroid use
- Pressure, friction, moisture, incontinence or shear
Providing adequate support to the patient’s skin surface and adjusting their position every one to two hours alleviates pressure to the body. Both shear and friction must be reduced. Sharing mechanical forces by gravity interplay and friction by dragging the body against a course surface can cause significant damage and increase the potential of bedsore development.
To increase the potential of complete wound healing of the damage skin, the decubitus ulcer must be properly assessed, evaluated and staged, from stage I to stage IV. Proper diagnosis will include the temperature of the wound, noted excess exudates, infection, foreign bodies, necrosis (dead tissue) and recurrent trauma from pressure or friction.
The healthcare provider must look for signs of tunneling or undermining along with eschar, necrosis, granulation (tissue with new blood vessels). The diagnosis should also include an assessment of adjacent tissue along with any signs of tissue tenderness, pain, unusual odor, sweats, chills and fever.
Optimizing the wound environment is essential to ensure healing of the ulcer. To promote healing, the health provider must ensure the patient is receiving essential care including:
- Adequate hydration & nutrition
- Removal of all nonviable (necrotic) tissue at the sore site
- Adequate balance of moisture to the skin
- Wound protection using proper dressings based on the stage of the bedsore
- Proper barrier products designed to provide protection against moisture and adhesives
- Pain management
- Wound cleansing and irrigation into underlying skin layer tunnels and cavities
- The prevention or management of infection
Removing nonviable tissue is often performed through debridement (autolytic, chemical, sharp, surgical, mechanical) to prevent infection and remove undesired skin growth. Typically, debridement stimulates new healthy skin growth during the healing process.
Pressure ulcers during the advancing stages are often very slow to heal. This is because of a variety of continued adverse factors including poor nutrition, pressure, or a medical condition. With poor treatment, the condition can easily spread deep into tissues, causing localized or systemic infection including osteomyelitis, which could lead to death.
Hiring Legal Representation When Wound Care Fails or is Never Used
The presence of a bedsore can significantly increase the potential of death to the patient. Fortunately, nearly every type of pressure sore is avoidable. However, when they do occur, it is often an indicator of neglect or abuse by the caregiver. As a result, family members of loved ones suffering a bedsore will hire legal representation to stop the neglect while seeking justice.
If your loved one is suffering a bedsore while under the care of medical staff, doctors, nurses, nursing aides or other healthcare provider, it is imperative to speak with Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers at 1-888-424-5757. Our skilled attorneys provide a free initial consultation to discuss legal options to stop the neglect immediately.
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The prevention of pressure sores is a complex issue that must be incorporated by all medical facilities. Preventing the development of pressure sores can help the patients susceptible to them live easier and less painful lives. The Stages of Pressure Sores Stage I – a reversible stage, where the skin is visibly irritated with red […]
When a loved one has a pressure sore, many families find themselves at loss for interpreting blood lab work and how it relates to the treatment and progression of the wound. Below is a explanation of the interplay between lab studies and pressure sores patients authored by John Baeke M.D. There is no lab study […]
Proper bed sore care often requires the expertise of many people. Doctors, nurses and family members all play a critical role in a patient’s healing. Sometimes, however, certain types of doctors might be especially well-suited to treat decubitus ulcers. In a recent report from Modernmedicine.com, an Ohio doctor argues that proper bed sore care must […]
Absolutely. Bed sores are not a condition isolated to the elderly. In many circumstances, younger patients in nursing homes and hospitals face many of the same risk factors that their contemporaries encounter: remaining in one position for extended periods of time, being kept in soiled linens for extended periods and general neglect by staff when […]
From Minnesota comes a disturbing story about a PCA (personal care assistant) whose alleged neglect of a paralyzed patient’s severe bed sores resulted in the amputation of the patient’s legs. The Granite Falls News reports that Casandra Sannerud, 26, was charged with multiple counts of Medicaid fraud on behalf of the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. The […]
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The family of a man with a spina bifida has filed a lawsuit against Tower Hill Healthcare Center, alleging the facilities neglect resulted in the man’s physical injury and deterioration since he was admitted to the facility. According to the lawsuit, the man was admitted to Sherman Hospital (a Chicagoland hospital) on July 5, 2008 […]
Pressure sores (also known as pressure ulcers, decubitus ulcers, and bed sores) are a common problem for residents of long-term care facilities. Residents with limited mobility and other co-morbidities are at increased risk for bed sores. In most cases, pressure sores are a preventable problem. Pressure ulcers are a very painful and embarrassing condition, and […]
As a lawyer who sees a significant number of cases where nursing home or hospital patients have developed bed sores (also referred to as: pressure sores, pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers) during a short or long-term admission, I feel as though the most progress has been made with respect to new technology in the utilization […]
In order for bed sores to heal, attention must be paid to the removing dead tissue and protecting the wound from infection causing bacteria. Dressings are usually applied to help the body heal itself. The type of dressing and the frequency with which it is to be changed is ordered by a physician with the […]
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DuoDerm is the brand name for a commonly used hydrocolloid dressing manufactured by ConvaTec that is used to treat bed sores (or similarly referred to as: pressure sores, pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers). Hydrocolloid dressings have gel-like properties to absorb excretions from the wound and protect the wound debris and potentially infection causing bacteria. […]