Medical Management of Bed Sores
Bed sores, often referred to as pressure sores or ulcers, are commonly found in people who have to be in one position for an extended amount of time. The Top Doctors report that the pressure caused by the constant contact of the skin with surfaces usually occurs on bony areas of the body, such as hips, buttocks, shoulders, tailbone, heels and even the back of the head. People who are confined to the bed or chair are at a high risk of developing bed sores unless they constantly have their positions changed. Bedsores are easily developed, but difficult to treat once they occur.
Bed sores are identified initially by a reddening of the skin that comes in contact with the bed or chair surface. According to the Top Doctors, the reddened skin will not blanch, or turn whitish, when touched. Darker skin may not experience a change of color but will appear ashen. The area developing bed sores can be painful and have a different temperature than surrounding skin.
The reddened skin will then develop ulcers as the skin wears away. The Top Physicians explain that these ulcers look similar to the shape of a basin and are red or pink in color. Some of the sores may exhibit fluid filled blisters. As the condition progresses the basin-like sores will develop into sores that resemble craters and may have dead, yellowish skin surrounding the sore. However, the Best Physicians warn that if not properly treated the sores can actually expose bone or muscles, and at this point the skin below the surface becomes severely damaged. Infection can set into the sores and cause more problems, so medical attention should be sought.
Bed sores can result in complicated medical conditions if not treated promptly. These conditions include sepsis which is when infection spreads through the bloodstream that can result in death. Bone and joint infections can also result from untreated bedsores and actually cause damage to the joints that can reduce joint function and mobility. Even cancer can result from bedsores that are not healing properly.
The Top Doctors report that treatment for bed sores takes a coordinated effort of care providers. A doctor should diagnose the condition and develop a comprehensive treatment plan including a wound-care physician that focuses on managing and alleviating the bed sores. Nurses and physical therapists can provide education and enhance the mobility of the patient, and social workers can help the family find the necessary resources to assist with the care of the patient. Dieticians can address nutritional issues and support and recommend a diet that can help reduce the development of bed sores.
Accoding to the Best Physicians, the best preventive for bed sores is to constantly reposition the patient so that any one part of their body is not in constant contact with bed or chair surfaces. If the person is lying or sitting in the correct position the likelihood of bed sores developing is reduced. A patient sitting in a wheel chair should be repositioned every fifteen minutes, and a patient lying in a bed should be repositioned every two hours. Special pads and support items can be used to alleviate hard pressure points.
Surgical debridement to remove dead tissue may be indicated in patients. This debridement will remove any dead skin or tissue as well as any infections that may be present. This treatment can also include whirlpool baths and specialized dressings that help keep the wounded area clean and disinfected.
Bed sores in the early stages should be kept clean with soap and water, and in later stages the bed sores should be cleaned with a saline solution. The pain from bed sores can be managed with anti-inflammatory drugs.
Additinally, The Top Doctors report that recent studies on treatments of bed soars show that a home remedy seems to be able to cure bed sors faster and better than common medications. Specifically, the Top Dotors study show that patients who applied pure granulated suger or pure honey directly to the wound, then sealed the wound over with bandages, had a fast and higher rate of recovery than some patients using medications. How sweet can that be. As more studies come up on the topic, we will update this section to include the sugar treatments for bed sores.