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Bedsores: Among the worst injuries in nursing homes

Bedsores, which are ulcers created by pressure or friction, may not seem too serious to those who know little about them. After all, most ulcers that develop on the body are small and cause few issues.

That's not the case for bedsores, though. Bedsores develop when a patient doesn't move, and the body part can't get new, oxygenated blood. Without nourishment, that part of the body begins to die.

Bedsores, also called pressure ulcers, can be treated. The sooner they're found, the better the prognosis is. However, if you notice a bedsore in any stage, immediately removing pressure from the region is a necessity. This prevents further damage caused by a lack of circulation.

What happens if a pressure sore has opened or is infected?

Severe sores may need to be treated by a physician. In some cases, they require surgery to remove dead, damaged or infected tissues. Sometimes, a new skin flap has to be made to cover the wound after surgery.

Why do pressure sores happen?

Pressure sores are usually a result of a patient not moving from the same position often enough. In nursing homes, elders may need help changing their positioning or moving from place to place. Without that help, they may sit in the same position, eventually developing painful pressure sores. They don't take long to develop, and they can worsen quickly without care.

If you see a pressure sore on someone you love, move them immediately and call for help. Early recognition and treatment will help prevent the wound from worsening and causing more pain.

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