Pressure ulcers or pressure sores on the skin. Pressure ulcers or pressure sores are serious damage to the skin and sometimes also to the underlying tissues. It can mainly occur in places where there is permanent pressure on the skin. Pressure ulcers are a common complication in bedridden patients. Sleeping starts with a red spot at a pressure point (for example, a bump or hips). Then blisters and superficial ulcers may occur. In the most serious case, these ulcers extend in depth.
Symptoms of pressure ulcers.
Pressure ulcers arise in places where the skin is under constant pressure. First, there is a red spot. This place cannot be pushed away. There is already serious damage to the tissue. A blister may then develop at this location. When the blisters break, ulcers (ulcers) develop, which can spread further and further into the depth. Muscles and bones can also be damaged or die. The dead tissue is often colored black or tan.
How does pressure ulcers arise?
Pressure ulcers are created by constant pressure on the skin. This is especially the case in bedridden patients around the tail and heels. The skin is under pressure between the bed and the bones. The blood circulation in the skin and connective tissue is reduced and the tissue dies (necrosis). When the dead tissue disappears, a deep wound can occur (ulcer). Factors that have an adverse effect on the prevention and cure of pressure ulcers are:
- too little movement, too long in the same position, slide over the mattress
- incontinence for stool and urine
- reduced skin feeling
- skin infection
- poor nutritional status
Is it serious and what can you expect?
Pressure ulcers are serious and occur mainly in people who have other illnesses among their members, which means that they are glued to the bed. Pressure ulcers heal very slowly, the healing can only start when the pressure is greatly reduced. Bacteria can easily enter the bloodstream from the ulcer. This can lead to life-threatening blood poisoning. Bacteria can also affect the underlying bone. The appearance of the pressure ulcer wound can sometimes be misleading. Under a small wound, extensive damage can often be present under the skin and in-depth. The care will give a lot of attention to preventing bedsores through optimal care, such as
- use of special mattresses
- cleaning the wounds and removing dead tissue
- fight infection
- ensure the optimum nutritional status
When to the doctor?
Pressure ulcers are usually a problem for people who are admitted to a nursing home. Nursing here specializes in the prevention and early detection of pressure ulcers. If you are bedridden at home and get symptoms that indicate pressure sores, contact your doctor immediately. It is important to take measures as quickly as possible to prevent expansion. The district nursing will often be involved in this.
What can you do about it yourself?
Pressure ulcers usually occur at a time when you are bedridden due to illness. Often you yourself are unable to do much to prevent pressure sores. Measures that you can take yourself are:
- change your posture regularly
- make sure your body is supported as much as possible so that the weight is distributed over a large area.
- Prevent slipping down by supporting with pillows
- Arrange special pressure ulcers, such as a mattress, via home care
- Wash with lukewarm water without soap
- Do not rub or massage the skin
- Wear clean, smooth cotton clothing
- Take a healthy diet and drink enough
- Keep the bed clean
- Have the skin checked daily
Nursing (care) will also pay attention to proper nutrition, hygiene and regular changing of the lying position. The treatment of skin infections is also important.
General advice and precautions?
Pressure ulcers are a major problem, especially in hospitals and nursing homes. Nursing pays a lot of attention to the prevention of pressure ulcers. Many hospitals have special anti-decubitus teams that deal with this. Important measures are anti-decubitus mattresses, regular changes in lying position, the prevention and control of skin infections and good nutritional status.