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Bed Sores

more about Bed Sores

Decubitus ulcers, pressure sores


  • These are ulcers (sores) caused by prolonged pressure on the skin.  The most susceptible places are areas with prominent bones or cartilage.  Usually, when a patient is on prolonged bed rest due to illness or paralysis, he is likely to exert pressure over a bony site.  Here, friction develops when the patient moves around, causing moisture to build up on the skin.
  • The elderly, who tend to have thin skin, poor circulation, and suffer from incontinence, Dementia, low body weight, and Malnutrition, are especially at risk.
  • The ulcers are divided into 4 stages, depending on the depth and size (stage I is the most superficial, stage IV the deepest).

  • Change to high protein diet rich in vitamins and minerals (e.g., Zinc, vitamin C, and iron)
  • Whirlpool may be used to help remove dead tissue and stimulate circulation.
  • Prolonged pressure on the ulcer will make it worse, so frequent turning (every 2 hours) may be done by the patient, nurses, or special beds.
  • Irrigation of the wound with saline solution
  • Topical antibiotic ointments
  • Gel-foam bandages
  • Hydrocolloid dressings such as Duo-Derm (clean ulcers only)
  • Surgical cleaning and debridement (removal of dead tissue) may be needed
  • Antibiotics are given orally or intravenously for deeper infections
  • Analgesics are needed if there is pain.

  • Good nutrition
  • Good hygiene
  • Linens should be kept clean and dry
  • Frequent turning of immobilized (bed bound) individuals
  • Special mattress may help

  • Shingles
  • Skin cancer
  • Pyoderma gangrenosum
  • Ecthyma gangrenosum

  • Common Areas of Involvement
    1. Tail bone area
    2. Hips
    3. Back
    4. Elbows
    5. Heels
    6. Ankles

more about Bed Sores

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