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Bed Sores are a Serious Medical Condition That Needs to be Handled by Medical Facilities - Not Necessarily at Home
By Nursing Home Law Center
In the early stages, bedsores are not seen as something serious. However, bedsores in elderly or immobile individuals have a tendency to progress quite quickly, and can become a serious ailment in a matter of days.
If you or someone you are caring for is at risk for bedsores, it is imperative to move the body around at least every two hours and constantly be on the lookout for bedsores. Bedsores tend to materialize in areas that are being pressurized for long periods, where the bone is pushing against soft tissue. If you are caring for an elderly patient or immobile individual, it is important to ask them if they are feeling pain in any area and be diligent in looking for symptoms or signs of bedsores. Early diagnoses can help in treatment and heal within several weeks.
The Stages of Bed Sores
As the bedsores are left untreated, the sores evolve into open wounds. In the first stage, the skin is still intact. As the second stage begins, the skin begins to tear. In the last two stages of bed sores, the area is an open wound, a prime spot for infection. These two stages are the most difficult to treat and may take months and even years to fully heal.
Regardless of the stage of bed sores, immediate medical attention is needed. These bed sores cannot be treated in a home. The patient will need constant attention and constant dressing change. The patient will also need to be moved around often to relieve the bed sores of pressure.
Proper Medical Care is Needed for Bed Sores
If the bed sore has progressed substantially, the care provided at home or in a nursing home is not adequate, and the patient may need to be admitted to a hospital. Medical facilities can properly treat bed sores with the right medication and techniques. The patient will be monitored daily, and if any infection does begin to occur in the affected area, it will be noticed quickly due to blood tests and temperature monitoring.
The pain that occurs with bed sores can only be understood by those who have suffered them. Pain management will be necessary, and to obtain these the patient will have to visit a doctor. The wound will initially have to be cleaned and dressed properly. Regular checkups with the doctor will be required, where a nurse or doctor will change the dressing accordingly. Attempting to clean the wound or dress it yourself at home is not recommended, as mistakes can easily be made that will only aggravate the bed sore.
Sometimes the patient themselves are afraid to go to a hospital to get themselves treated. For some the ailment has progressed far and they cannot wait in the waiting room to see a doctor for too long. However, bed sores need immediate treatment or the consequences of delaying treatment can be fatal. Usually regular visits to the doctor will suffice for stage 1 and stage 2 bed sores, but for more advanced bed sores, admission to a hospital may be necessary. Therefore, treatment at home is not recommended, as proper medical care by a medical physician is required immediately and attempting to treat the bed sore at home will only delay the healing process further.
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- Pressure Sores Are Needlessly Killing Nursing Home & Hospital Patients
- Bedsores - DermNet New Zealand