Pressure sore treatment is required if areas of the body have been affected by restricted blood flow. They are most common in those who are bedbound, or who need to sit in one position for long periods of time.
However, there are other indicators that may mean you are especially prone to this type of wound.
Pressure sores are also commonly referred to as bed sores or pressure ulcers. However, they can appear in other areas too. You can get pressure sores in your ears, and treating this can be vital in hearing loss prevention. Ultimately, they affect areas of the body that experience the application of constant pressure. The most commonly affected areas include the lower back, buttocks, and heels; although the elbows and even the bridge of your nose can be affected by pressure ulcers.
If you are immobile for a long period of time, then you are at risk of developing and needing treatment for a pressure ulcer. However, certain groups of people are more at risk of needing pressure sores treatment than others. This includes people who have poor circulation or who already have wounds that are weeping. Sweating and incontinence can also trigger the problem, as the moisture can irritate the skin.
Further aspects that can increase your risk of developing pressure sores include having a poor diet or being dehydrated. This affects the health quality of the skin, often leaving it drier and more prone to splitting and irritation. If pressure sores are detected, they need to be treated promptly, and proper wound care put in place. The type of treatment will depend on the grading of the sore or ulcer, but should always include frequent changes of position and cushioning high-risk areas of the body.
Understanding The Grading System
Pressure ulcer treatment and prevention will differ depending on the grade of ulcer that is present. Ulcers are graded by the presence and severity of different symptoms. The higher the grade, the greater the risk of complications and infection. Read on to find out more about the severity of patients’ pressure sores.
Pressure sores or ulcers are graded from one to four depending on the severity of the symptoms that are present in the affected area. A grade one ulcer is likely to display as a change in the color of the affected skin. While it does not turn white when pressed, the skin is still intact. There may be changes in the feel of the skin and pain or itching may be present. This grade of ulcer requires little in the way of wound care, and prevention will stop further deterioration for the ulcer.
At grade two, damage to the skin begins to appear. There is some skin loss and the ulcer starts to take on the appearance of a blister or open wound. At this stage, pressure sores treatment rather than prevention is required.
A grade three ulcer presents with loss of skin over the entire affected area, with some damage being present in the underlying tissue. In appearance, it looks like a cavity.
The most serious damage is seen at stage four. There is severe skin damage and tissue necrosis is more often than not present. There is also the likelihood of damage to the surrounding muscle and bone. At this stage, an infection can become life-threatening.