Bed sores are much easier to prevent than treat. We must be vigilant, inspecting skin regularly, especially skin covering bony areas. If it is swollen, torn, shiny, discoloured (red, ashen purple), feels warm, or has pus, it is worth attention. If the bed sores were caused by abuse or neglect, contact elder abuse attorney Steven Peck right away!
Bed Sore Prevention Steps
Caregivers should reposition clients regularly or encourage them to reposition themselves regularly where possible. Cushions (foam, gel, water-filled, air-filled) placed appropriately are helpful. Special mattresses, wedges, and pads are designed to protect ‘at-risk’ areas. Consult a physiotherapist for advice.
It is important to exercise good personal hygiene (mild soap and water). Manage urinary and bowel incontinence with hygiene practices, make frequent diaper changes where appropriate, and apply protective barrier creams. Protect potentially moist areas with talcum powder and protect dry areas with moisturising lotions and barrier creams.
Zinc oxide is a common ingredient in these.
More serious bed sores, which have broken skin or craters with dead flesh, require medical attention. Necrotic flesh (dead and infected) makes sores difficult to heal.
Hydrocolloid adhesive dressings keep the bedsore environment moist while protecting it from contamination. Antibiotic creams control infection.
Debridement is a method of removing necrotic flesh, and agents like collagenase and papain/chlorophyll are helpful. However,debridement surgery may be necessary.
About the Author
Attorney Adam Peck has been practicing law since 1981. A former successful business owner, Mr. Peck initially focused his legal career on business law. Within the first three years, after some colleagues and friend’s parents endured nursing home neglect and elder abuse, he continued his education to begin practicing elder law and nursing home abuse law.