Decubitus/bedsores

In people who are completely or partially bedridden, certain pressure and shearing forces can cause pressure sores. These are often ugly wounds that heal poorly. This is because people lie down for most of the day and there is a long pressure on certain parts of the body.

Complaints about bedsores

Pressure ulcers usually develop on parts of the body where the pressure or shear forces are greatest when lying down. These are mainly the tailbone, hips, heels and ankles. The pressure or shift compresses the small blood vessels in the skin and the tissues beneath it. If this pressure lasts too long and the condition of the skin is poor, pressure sores (decubitis) can develop.

Pressure ulcers are divided into degrees and severity

  • Stage 1: redness of the skin
  • Stage 2: superficial damage to the skin, which may include blisters and abrasions. Sometimes there are black pieces of tissue underneath a blister or abrasion (necrosis).
  • Stage 3: superficial ulcers, the depth is often to the subcutaneous connective tissue but not to the bone, tendons or joint capsules
  • Stage 4: a deep ulcer extending to the bone, tendons and joint capsules.

 

Precautionary actions

These measures are very important to prevent or worsen pressure ulcers. This mainly focuses on the cause of the bedsore. Attempts should be made to prevent patients from lying in the same position for long periods of time. Personal factors are also taken into account. Patients must therefore regularly change their position and sliding and pressing must be avoided when moving a patient.
A special decubitis mattress and sheepskin can also be purchased. A sheepskin has pressure-distributing and moisture-absorbing properties. In addition, a self-adhesive wound film can also be applied to the skin , which prevents friction of the skin.
Personal factors mainly focus on nutritional status and the condition of the skin. The better this is, the less chance of bedsores. Dry skin needs to be rubbed often and incontinence needs to be changed more often. A good nutritional status should also be strived for.

Policy

  • Stage 1: no treatment needs to be applied yet, but good preventive measures must be implemented.
  • Stage 2: Blisters and abrasions should be covered with hydrophilic gauze.
  • Stages 3 and 4: treatment depends on the color of the wounds. Black pieces of skin or tissue must be removed by your GP. If there is a lot of wound discharge, an alginate compress (bandage with seaweed) can be used. If there is also a fever with such a wound infection, the doctor will usually also prescribe a course of antibiotics.
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