Bedsores at Home
The skin is the human body’s protective shield and the largest organ.
It protects us from external factors, the environment, and infections and regulates the body’s temperature.
It serves as the medium for receiving stimuli from the environment, such as heat or cold, touch, and pain.
It is easy to understand how important it is to protect and maintain it in the best possible condition.
A very serious skin problem that frequently occurs, especially in older individuals, is bedsores.
Bedsores at home can be categorized as:
venous ulcers pressure sores or bedsores diabetic foot ulcers trauma ulcers In this article, we will focus on bedsores.
Bedsores refer to the necrosis of the skin and the tissues underneath it, due to prolonged pressure exerted on the specific area. The interruption of blood flow from prolonged pressure on the tissues in the area leads to their necrosis.
Possible infections, accompanying health issues such as diabetes and malnutrition, exacerbate the development of a bedsore. Contact of the skin with biological materials such as urine or feces also aggravates the affected area.
Bedsores mainly occur in patients who remain bedridden for a long period, such as the elderly and the injured. Common areas of occurrence include the heels, the sacral area (tailbone), the knees, elbows, and ankles.
The overwhelming majority of bedsores, over 90%, affect the lower part of the body.
Signs that indicate the development of a bedsore include:
intense redness of an area of the skin, especially at points of contact with the patient’s bed discharge of fluids and foul odor from the affected area loss of continuity of the skin tissue necrosis, change in the color of the skin to black
Stages of Bedsores at home
There are four (4) stages of bedsores:
- Redness without the presence of an impression on intact skin
- Partial thickness loss of the skin. Superficial ulcer.
- Total loss of skin thickness, with necrosis of underlying tissues without a cavity.
- Significant skin destruction, necrosis of underlying tissues involving muscles and bones. Formation of a cavity.
Bedsores Prevention Prevention is crucial in combating the development of bedsores.
Care of the patient’s environment plays a significant role and aids in medical treatment:
good hygiene necessary skin care frequent changes in the patient’s position mobilization when possible Physiotherapy, even while in bed, is a significant action for the healing process of a bedsore.
The use of special mattresses with variable pressure (air mattress) is an essential tool in preventing the development of bedsores.
Patient nutrition is also a significant factor, as malnutrition hinders the healing process of bedsores.
The use of specialized dietary supplements, mainly protein-based, significantly aids in healing.
The sooner we intervene, the better and faster the bedsore will heal.
Bedsores Care and Treatment
Medical intervention includes special dressings that cover and heal the bedsore. The dressings are categorized as:
analgesic hydrocolloid antimicrobial, etc., which are selected by the doctor on a case-by-case basis, considering the location and stage of the bedsore.
Surgical debridement is essential in advanced cases with tissue necrosis. The cleaning is performed by a surgeon, usually at the patient’s home, with the aim of completely removing all dead tissues from the area. This is a crucial action as it reduces the likelihood of infections, as the dead tissues serve as an excellent substrate for microbial growth.
New specialized treatments have emerged and are used in specific cases, such as VAC (Vacuum-Assisted Closure) and photodynamic therapy.
In-home medical care is also available.
VAC therapy involves negative pressure therapy. With the use of a special pump, negative pressure is applied within the bedsore’s cavity and collects the exudate outside it in a specific collection container.
Additionally, photodynamic therapy is a non-invasive treatment. It uses a special device that emits light and infrared radiation, promoting the healing of the ulcer. It is performed in repeated sessions depending on the severity of the problem.
It is evident that we are dealing with a complex problem regarding both the causes and the treatment of bedsores.
It has serious implications for the patient’s quality of life and their environment, which is burdened with the patient’s daily care.
Immediate medical intervention with the aim of rapid healing of bedsores is essential.