A bed sore is a type of skin ulcer, which is also called a pressure sore. The proper medical term for this type of sore is “decubitus ulcer.” A bed sore can manifest in a variety of ways. It may present as mild and pink skin discoloration and disappear shortly after the pressure in the area is relieved. Bed sores can also present as a deep wound that extends out to and even through the bone into a person’s internal organs.
These skin ulcers have a similar course of injury to that of a burn wound. Initially, a bed sore typically appears with mild sin redness and may involve blistering. Bed sores can also become serious enough that they become a deep open wound that contains blackened tissue. The blackened skin tissue is referred to as “eschar.”
A pressure sore (or bed sore) is formed as a result of applied pressure. Prolonged exposure to cold, along with friction as a result of rubbing the skin against an object such as a brace, bed sheet, or cast can also cause pressure sores. Areas of tissue that are close to the bone (such as the spine, elbows or heels) are more likely to develop pressure sores.
One way to prevent pressure sores is to make sure the potentially affected individual changes position at least every two hours. A two-hour position change is the commonly accepted standard of care and appropriate time frame that allows skin tissue to tolerate pressure without there being damage to the skin that could lead to pressure sores of varying severity. Additionally, there are other ways to prevent these skin ulcers, including use of padding and protection, along with staying hydrated and following proper nutrition and hygiene guidelines.
It is important to properly treat pressure sores once they are discovered. Treatment for this condition includes maintaining cleanliness in the area and removing any dead tissue (if it had developed in the wound). Immediately removing dead tissue is important, since leaving it can result in serious infection. Another common form of treatment is antibiotics. If the wound is very deep and serious, surgery may be required or even amputation, depending on the severity of the wound.
The best way to treat a pressure sore is to prevent it from happening in the first place. There are many medical devices available that have been designed for the purpose of preventing the formation of pressure sores. These devices may be available through your medical insurance. Another form of prevention is to observe those around you for signs and symptoms of pressure sores so that you can step and help before the sores get too serious.
Contact San Diego, California attorney Steven C. Peck if you are concerned that a loved one has developed pressure sores due to negligence of a care facility. Your loved one may be entitled to compensation for the injuries they suffered.
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