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Causes and prevention of bedsores

If you have a loved one that is in a nursing home, he or she may be susceptible to developing bedsores. These are injuries to the skin and tissues and can be quite painful.

There are common causes of bedsores, and there are things that the staff can do to prevent them from developing.

Overview of bedsores

The Mayo Clinic discusses that common areas affected by bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are the buttocks, shoulder blades, tailbone, heels, ankles and the backs of arms and legs. Signs that they exist include:

  • Swelling
  • Changes in texture, temperature or color of the skin
  • Tenderness
  • Pus-like draining

Common causes of bedsores

Bedsores occur when there is limited blood flow due to constant pressure on the skin. Without blood flow, the tissues and skin are unable to receive essential nutrients and oxygen. Along with pressure, causes of these ulcers are when the skin rubs against bedding or clothing and when the skin and bone pull in the opposite direction. These things can occur when someone is in bed or a wheelchair for long periods of time.

Prevention

According to John Hopkins Medicine, there are things that the facility staff can do to prevent bedsores, even for people who are unable to get out of bed frequently. For individuals sitting in wheelchairs, staff should provide soft padding and change each person’s position every 15 minutes.

For individuals confined to their beds, staff members should reposition or turn them every two hours to reduce pressure on sensitive areas. Other preventive measures include keeping the skin dry and clean and providing adequate nutrition to aid in the healing of bedsores.

Although there is treatment for bedsores, some do not heal completely. Keep an eye out for symptoms, especially if your loved one spends a lot of time in bed or in a wheelchair.

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