When visiting your aging mother in the nursing home, you notice that she does not seem well. Her color is off, and she has not gotten out of bed. Her mobility is declining, but so is her overall health. She seems in pain, but you do not know what is causing it.
As you wait for the nurse to come in, you notice a red mark peeking out from under your mother’s leg. When you lift the sheet, you see she has numerous sores up and down her body. When you roll her, it is even worse than you first thought. Bedsores go beyond what you can see on the skin and if not taken care of quickly, can lead to severe complications.
A bedsore forms on sensitive skin
When someone is unable to move much, he or she tends to lie in one position for long periods. When this happens, blood begins to pool in the areas of the body in contact with the bed. The elderly have thin skin that is more susceptible to this type of injury.
Untreated bedsores cause problems down to tissue and bone
The way a bedsore appears can say a lot about how serious it is. Stage 1 may look like an abrasion or scrape with no broken skin. Stage 2 sores have broken open and begin to burrow down into the body. This stage may cause the skin to die. In Stage 3, the crater begins to hit tissue, and you may see fat. Stage 4 is the most severe state of a sore with tissue and bone affected.
Infection is a serious threat
At any stage of a bedsore, an infection may start to set in. When the sore breaks open, it is more susceptible to become infected. At Stages 3 and 4, however, the resulting infection may lead to death if untreated too long.
If you suspect your mother has bedsores, act quickly to get medical intervention. Failing to do so may cause loss of skin, tissue and loss of life.