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How Safe is Your Elderly Loved One From Bed Sores?

Bed sores stages in nursing home patients

A fair number of elderly people will either be inclined or required to spend relatively long periods of time in their bed. A common complaint as a result of this is that they often tell their loved ones or caregiver that they are unable to get comfortable, and this could be due to bed sores.

It is all too easy to be dismissive of these complaints as it can sometimes be difficult for any of us to get comfortable in our bed, regardless of our age and physical condition. Leaving or ignoring these complaints can sometimes develop into a potentially serious medical issue so it would be beneficial to refer to Bedsores In A Nursing Home: A Comprehensive Guide.

Elderly
Long periods of inactivity, be it in bed or inclined, can lead to development of bed sores in elderly.

Inactivity can lead to bed sores

Pressure sores can surface due to the patient leading a sedentary lifestyle and experiencing regular long periods of inactivity.

An open pressure sore that is allowed to develop and is not treated, can become toxic and eventually poison the blood, with fatal consequences. A pressure ulcer is known as a decubitus ulcer and is commonly referred to as a bed sore or pressure sore.

The pressure sore may initially be a very small wound, which can invariably be in a precarious or embarrassing spot like on the bottom, and can be a reason why it may go unnoticed unless the person complains of pain and discomfort.

Progressive bed sores stages

If bed sores are not identified and treated as soon as possible, there can be four stages that lead to a progressively worse prognosis and eventually create some very serious health issues.

The first stage is when the sore has not become an open wound but the skin feels painful but has no visible breaks or tears. The skin will likely appear reddened and will not blanch when you press down on it with your finger.

A stage one sore will often feel either softer or firmer than the skin area surrounding it. Stage two is when the skin actually breaks open and forms an ulcer, which is very often painful and very tender as well.

The sore will then expand into deeper layers of the skin and can often have the appearance of a scrape or an abrasion. This second stage will typically see the sore develop a blister with clear fluid and even at this stage, the skin could easily be damaged beyond repair.

The third stage will see the sore get progressively worse and extend itself into the tissue beneath the skin and form a small crater. You may notice fat in the sore but not bone, muscle or tendon.

If the bed sore is allowed to develop into its fourth stage of development, it will become very deep and reaches into the muscle and bone, where it will likely cause extensive damage there and also to deeper tissues, joints and tendons.

Enjoying the sunlight and fresh air
Where possible, elderly should be assisted to get out of the bed and spend some time outdoors.

The problem is that by the time you get to stages three and four, the patient may not feel any significant pain due to the tissue damage that will already have occurred by this point. These symptoms are typical but not the profile that everyone experiences, so it is important to monitor a loved-ones wellbeing on a regular basis.

High density foams mattresses are being used by some nursing homes to alleviate the problem and help to avoid the need to turn a patient every two hours, if they are suffering from bed sores.

If a loved one complains of feeling uncomfortable, don’t ignore their complaints and make sure that they are not showing signs of developing bed sores.

Len Haberman, Esq., has spent his entire career fighting for justice for nursing home abuse and neglect victims. When he has a chance, he also likes to share what he has learned by writing articles online. Look for his posts mainly on legal, law and senior life websites.

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Bed Sores in Nursing Homes
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