Bedsores The pain:
Pressure ulcers that start as a red spot on the skin; Left untreated, the affected skin can blister, deteriorate and die. Eventually the sore can break through the skin and extend through the fat, into muscle and expose bone.
They occur when you sit or lie in a single position for so long that the sheer weight of the body pinches off blood flow to certain areas. Usually, the danger spots are bony areas of the body, especially the hips. buttocks, and heels. Anyone confined to a bed or wheelchair, especially those who have suffered paralysis or a stroke, is in danger of developing a pressure ulcer. And a bedsore can start a lot sooner than you might think. “Most experts say it takes about two hours to create a stage bedsore, but you can start to see the changes that lead to an ulcer after about 20 minutes.” Once a bedsore opens, the body’s natural protective barrier has been compromised, leaving one vulnerable to bacteria, infection, and pain.
See a doctor if
You notice a reddened area that doesn’t go away. Get a doctor’s help as quickly as possible, don’t assume that if a bedsore doesn’t hurt, it’s not serious, adds Krasner. Constant pressure tends to numb the skin and other conditions such as paralysis or diabetes may reduce the ability to feel pain.
Your doctor may want to prescribe antibiotics to assist healing, the doctor may also want to remove. or debride, dead tissue that surrounds a bedsore, If the bedsores hurt continuously, you may want to ask about taking over-the-counter medication at regular intervals, not just when the pain flares. acetaminophen (paracetamol), aspirin, or another pain reliever may be appropriate. before taking these medications regularly.
Nutritional remedies: Eat right.
“In a scientific study of nursing home patients, we have never found a pressure ulcer in anyone who was well nourished, “Along with pressure, malnutrition is the single biggest co-factor in the creation of bedsores. “When people think of malnutrition, they frequently think of people who are thin or even emaciated.” That’s not the person who is at the greatest risk, “he says.” The people who are most in danger of developing pressure ulcers are obese people., those who are eating lots of processed foods and processed carbohydrates that lack protein. “Keep that from happening by getting your loved one the minimum daily requirement for protein, which is two to three servings of meat, poultry, fish, or eggs a day. In addition, doctors recommend that people eat 6 to 11 servings of unprocessed whole. grains, 2 to 4 servings of fresh fruits, and 3 to 5 servings of vegetables a day.
Choose your oils wisely.
If you’re preparing food for anyone who is bedridden, be careful about the kinds of oils that may be in their foods. According to Dr “Omega-3 oils, which are found in fish, canola oil and flaxseed oil, lower blood cholesterol and support good circulation. “He says. Avoid using corn or sunflower oil in your cooking because such oils can enhance inflammation, which decrease blood circulation and can increase bedsore risk, he adds.
Helpful vitamins and supplements:
Supplement against sores. Encourages people at risk for bedsores to take a multivitamin that contains vitamins C, E, and beta carotene. These vitamins are antioxidants that can speed healing. Some research suggests zinc is also helpful.
Get even relief. Try to keep the person on a mattress or cushion. that distributes their weight more evenly, such as an air mattress, says Dr “There are many kinds available, but a regular air mattress that you use at a lake or the beach can be used to help support a person who is bedridden. “Be sure it’s thickly covered with an airy cotton blanket and sheets to prevent sweating. Sponge mattresses and water beds are also good choices. Other experts recommend using cotton padding or wool to soften the mattress. The extra padding should be evenly distributed. However, to prevent bunching and increasing the likelihood of pinching blood vessels.
Add an extra layer.
Cover the bed mattress with an air mattress or foam padding that is dense and at least four inches thick. “There are a lot of mattress overlay devices that put cushioning. Between the bony surface and the bed surface.” And these devices can help prevent pressure ulcers. “For people in wheelchairs, she suggests an air or gel cushion. The egg crate paddings that were once used to prevent bedsores are not collective, she says.” These are not dense enough, so the bone would still lie on the surface of the mattress, and there would be tissue destruction.
“Keep things moving.”
You’ve got to rotate the person’s body throughout the day. “says Dr, The person should be shifted at least once an hour, just to relieve the pressure on any area of the body. “Not only is this an essential way to keep bedsores from worsening once they start. It’s also one of the best ways of preventing them. Be sure to reposition the person so that pressure is relieved from any reddened area on the body.
Help out the
One problem with repositioning – for example, turning a person from his back onto his side – is that a person lying on his side can get a pressure ulcer from his hipbones. To prevent this, turn the person on his back-part way toward his side, say, 30 degrees (a full turn onto the side would be 90 degrees). Then support his back with pillows so that he stays in the new position. This way, the pillow takes some of the weight.
Separate the knees and ankles.
Pressure sores can also form when an ankle is pressing on an ankle, or a knee on a knee. Use pillows to keep them separated,
Lower the head of the bed.
People who are propped up in bed tend to slide Down. And if the person is older, the skin on the back and the buttocks can stretch and tear, creating an ulcer. This phenomenon is called shearing, and it can be prevented by keeping the head of the bed at the lowest angle possible and limiting the time it is elevated.
Do a “pushup.”
People who are confined to wheelchairs but still have the use of their upper bodies should do a slight pushup every four to five minutes on the arms of the wheelchair to relieve the pressure, says Jones.
Clean with care.
A person in bed should be cleaned regularly, says Jones, since excess moisture – from elimination or perspiration – can weaken the skin. But clean gently, using a mild soap. And afterward. Apply a moisturizer so that the skin doesn’t become too dry. “Keep the skin lubricated, but not saturated,” she says.
Caring for the wounds: Maximize blood flow to existing ulcers.
Make sure there is no pressure on any area where an ulcer already exists. If an ulcer appears on the heel, suspend the heel by raising the lower leg with pillows or soft blankets, she recommends. Once pressure is relieved, blood will flow to the existing wound and aid healing.
Keep the wounds clean.
Pressure ulcers have to be kept clean in order to avoid infection and to heal properly. “Rinse the wound and surrounding skin with soap and water,” says Dr. Do not use cleansing solutions containing disinfectants, such as providence – iodine. Disinfectants generally slow the healing process.
Make the wound moist.
To help speed healing, cover any existing sores with gauze bandages coated in petroleum jelly or similar moist, thick ointment. This encourages tissues to grow rapidly. There are special dressings such as Didier and Vigil on, which are available through your pharmacist, that dissolve into the wound and create a good environment for healing.
Keep the healthy skin dry.
“Keep the wound moist and the surrounding skin dry.” Kaminski. Healthy skin that is allowed to remain moist is more susceptible to developing a sore and an open wound. For patients who are incontinent, undergarments must be changed when needed in order to keep skin dry.