By: Brian Elliott
There may be something lurking below the surface we need to have on our radars. As many continue to work from home and our daily temperatures continue their downward trends, people are spending more time inside. As we become less active, something to be mindful of is the potential of developing a pressure sore. Especially those that spend a majority of their day sitting or in bed with limited or no ability to change positions or provide forms of pressure relief.
A pressure sore actually begins below the skin surface. Commonly appearing on areas of the skin with bony parts of a body like the tailbone, heel, or hips as examples. It will occur when the blood is restricted and there is pressure being applied from an outside source like a chair, bed, or shoe. Sores are assessed by stages 1-4. Stage 1 being on the relatively minor side and with proper recognition and treatment can be gone in as little as a few days to a week or two. Although, it can easily become more serious. Each stage ratcheting up the danger level and extending the recovery process. Stage 4 sores often require hospitalization and potential surgery followed by a recovery time table between a few months to two years. Serious complications like infection to the bone, extended bed rest (weeks to months), potential amputations or other life threatening situations may occur if a sore gets to this stage.
Most vulnerable to developing a pressure sore are people with reduced mobility. Other contributing factors putting people at higher risk of sores are:
- · Medical conditions impacting blood flow (such as diabetes)
- · Lack of nutrition and hydration
- · Incontinence (prolonged exposure to urine and feces breaks down skin)
Common causes are from extended time in one position without pressure relief, clothing bunched under a person and sitting on it, or heels of shoes or socks that are pressing on the heel or Achilles are some examples. Symptoms to be aware of include redness around the skin that doesn’t go away, sensitivity to touch, skin breakage, or a puss-like substance draining.
The keys to pressure sore prevention/treatment are the ability to provide pressure relief and change positions along with early recognition and proper care and follow through of wound treatment. If you become concerned, include medical professionals. Another important fact if you acquire a pressure sore and it heals, that spot will continue to be vulnerable area and an easier location for any potential return of a pressure sore as that area has already been damaged. Stay vigilant with your prevention precautions and wound care if any pressure sore ever develops. #Awareness
Additional Info on Stages and Treatment of Pressure Sores