Study Gives Suggestions for Treating and Preventing Bed Sores

By Nursing Home Law Center

Study Bedsore Prevention

A study from the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine provides a far-ranging and extensive overview for treating and preventing bed sores (pressure ulcers) in elderly patients.

Among the key points of the study:

  • 95 percent of pressure ulcers occur in the lower part of the body
  • The incidence of pressure ulcers is actually higher in acute care hospitals than in nursing homes
  • A great majority – 70 percent – of all pressure ulcers occur in people 70 years of age or older
  • The use of catheters in incontinent patients greatly increases the risk of bed sores
  • Healing occurs most rapidly when open bed sores are closed surgically

The study recommended that care staff turn patients every 1 1/2 hours, versus the usually standard two hour interval. Researchers also found that doctors should take great care in selecting preventative devices, which range pressure-relieving mattresses to manual movement from nurses and doctors. Proper preventative devices should ward off all bed sores, which vary in severity from stage 1 to stage 4.

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