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Pressure Sores, Pressure Ulcers or Decubitus Ulcers – reproduction

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Pressure Sores, Pressure Ulcers or Decubitus Ulcers – reproduction

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									Pressure Sores, Pressure Ulcers or Decubitus Ulcers                            – reproduction of article on Net


Pressure sores if left unchecked are serious is paraplegics, a pressure sore can lead to amputation or in the
worst case death. Even when cared for, a pressure sore can still become result in serious systemic infection.
This in turn can lead to a heart attack and coma. Check yourself for red marks and sores daily; it should be
a routine which is as second nature as brushing your teeth.

A pressure sore, also known as a bed sore, is an injury to the skin and the tissue under it. A pressure sore
develops when the blood supplying the tissue with oxygen and nutrients is cut off, and the tissue no longer
receiving oxygen and nutrients dies. The oxygen and nutrients are essential to maintain healthy tissue.
Sitting in the same position for a prolonged period of time can start the process of tissue breakdown.

People who smoke are also at an increased risk of developing a pressure sore, as are those who are
overweight or diabetic.

If you are paralysed, you may not feel a pressure sore developing; therefore it is essential to change your
position on regular intervals to allow the circulation of blood throughout pressured areas. Normally in an
able bodied person, if you are uncomfortable in your seating position, messages from nerves in the skin will
be sent via your spinal cord to the brain to indicate discomfort. However in a person with a spinal cord
injury, these messages are blocked at the level of injury, and the disabled person may not even be aware at
the level of potential damage the skin is in.

Pressure sores are also be referred to as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers. The damage from a pressure
sore will range from slight discoloration of the skin (stage 1) to open sores that go all the way to the bone
(severe). The affected area may feel warmer than the surrounding tissue. In light-skinned people, the
discoloration may appear as dark purple or red. In darker-skinned people, the discoloration will appear
darker than the surrounding tissue.

Stages of Pressure Sores

STAGE ONE

How to recognize: Skin is not broken but is red or discolored. The redness or change in color does not fade
within 30 minutes after pressure is removed.


STAGE TWO

How to recognize: The epidermis or topmost layer of the skin is broken, creating a shallow open sore.
Drainage may or may not be present.

STAGE THREE

How to recognize: The break in the skin extends through the dermis (second skin layer) into the
subcutaneous and fat tissue. The wound is deeper than in Stage Two.


STAGE FOUR

How to recognize: The breakdown extends into the muscle and can extend as far down as the bone. Usually
lots of dead tissue and drainage are present.
If the skin is at stage 1, the red area can be healed by keeping the pressure off the affected area. If the sore
does not heal in a few days or recurs, consult your doctor or health clinic

If the skin is thought to be at stages 2 - 3, you should consult your doctor or health clinic ASAP

								
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