For those with impaired mobility, developing pressure ulcers is a constant concern. Also known as bedsores, these injuries are skin injuries resulting from impaired blood flow as a result of continual pressure.
Those susceptible to pressure ulcers include residents of nursing homes, hospital patients and those confined to a wheelchair or bed for long periods of time.
The progressive nature of bedsores
Although bedsores sound mild, there are four stages to these injuries. The severity of the wound increases when the sores do not receive adequate treatment. In the early stages, the skin experiences persistent redness but it is still intact before the wound progresses to bubbling or blistering. As the condition progresses, the individual experiences increasing pain as the wound breaks open and begins to ooze, drain or develop an infection. While a concern from stage one, as the wound progresses to a stage four bedsore, the situation grows critical.
The serious nature of bedsores
When the wound reaches stage four, the ulcer reaches down to the muscle, tendon on bone, and dead tissues are evident. The condition could develop open tracts underneath the skin, increasing the life-threatening concern of infection. Should infection set it, there is a risk that it will travel to the bloodstream, the heart or the brain. Medical intervention, such as invasive surgeries, could prevent death, yet the patient suffers extreme pain and scarring.
Bedsores that reach stage four often help family members identify nursing home neglect or medical negligence. Medicare laws require the reporting of bedsores, as this can help individuals review the Medicare rating tools to determine the right facility to care for their loved one.