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Bed Sores are common skin injuries prevalent in the elderly who lack mobility. To prevent this, you should detect the signs of early stage bed sores. Talking about bed sores is essential to me since I saw firsthand how difficult it was for my loved one. Sitting down was difficult since the bed sore was near her lower region. We had to position her sideways whenever she needed to eat for a while. Whenever I saw my elderly loved one in pain, I wanted to take the pain away from her and transfer it to myself. But that’s not possible. That’s why I promised myself I would do my best to prevent that from happening again. I also promised to try and help anyone in need.

 

So if you also care for an elderly loved one and want to prevent pressure sores, please keep reading. I made this article as comprehensive as possible to help anyone in need.

 

 

 

This article will be a comprehensive guide to detecting early stage bed sores. We will also discuss the ways to prevent bed sores. Because of the complexity of the topic, I will be citing several medical articles.

 

Definition of Bed Sores

 

Bed Sores are also known as pressure sores or pressure ulcers. These injuries can occur in our skin when we stay in the same position for a long time. People who lack mobility are prone to getting bed sores compared to others.

 

Bed sores usually occur on parts of the skin where the bones are closer to the surface. These areas are the buttocks, hips, and back. When left untreated, bed sores are pretty painful to experience. That’s why preventing pressure sores immediately is necessary.

 

When there is constant pressure or friction, there will be a lack of blood pressure in that area, resulting in pressure sores.

 

Are Bed Sores Fatal?

 

The short answer is no. I intentionally highlighted this part so that you will not worry too much.

 

If your parent or loved one is experiencing bed sores, it is essential to treat them immediately. Although bed sores are not fatal, they can lead to more complications if left untreated. Some of the more severe complications are sepsis, cellulitis, and infection. Preventing bed sores at the early stage is essential to ensure that they will not lead to something more.

 

 

Other Results of Bed Sores

 

Sepsis

 

According to the CDC, Sepsis is our body’s extreme response to an infection. When a person has sepsis, the body’s immune system works against itself. This may result in the body attacking itself and causing organs to perform poorly.

 

According to the Mayo Clinic, here are some of the symptoms to look out for:

  • Change in mental status
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Sweating for no apparent reason
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Shivering
  • Symptoms specific to the type of infection, such as painful urination from a urinary tract infection or worsening cough from pneumonia

 

Cellulitis

 

Cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection. Which, if left untreated, may result in severe complications. The affected skin may be tender and swollen when a person has cellulitis.

 

According to the CDC, here are some symptoms of Cellulitis to look out for.

 

An irritated area of skin that tends to expand.

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Pain
  • Warmth
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Spots
  • Blisters
  • Skin dimpling

 

Infection

 

Bed Sores when left untreated, have a high probability of becoming infected. That’s why many doctors tell their patients to treat it early on. When the infection spreads throughout the body, it can even be fatal.

 

If you noticed, the above symptoms are also symptoms for other diseases. Don’t be a professional Internet Doctor. Self-research on your symptoms may lead you to believe you have a severe illness. While on the opposite, you may end up belittling a severe disease. Please consult a doctor if you’re not feeling well and think it’s serious. You might think you’re saving a few bucks by not going to the doctor. But remember, there is no price tag for your life.

 

Causes of Bed Sores: Preventing Pressure Sores

 

Skin Friction

 

Skin friction happens when the skin rubs against clothing or the skin itself. When there is skin friction, it may damage the skin and cause bed sores. I w

 

Constant Pressure

 

As mentioned, a bed sore forms when constant pressure is in an area. This may occur when a person sits for an extended period. This may also happen when they lay in bed all day.

 

Shears

 

Friction + Pressure = Shears

 

The most common example of shearing is when your loved one is in bed and you are moving his body. His skin remains in the same place because of the sheets, while his body moves, causing shears.

 

Who Is More Likely to Get Bed Sores?

 

Another way to prevent bed sores is to know who is more at risk. By knowing this, we can extend necessary precautions to prevent this from happening. The people at risk of getting pressure sores are listed below.

 

People With Mobility Problems

 

People with mobility issues are more prone to staying in the same position. When we don’t move around, pressure builds up in one area, which can lead to bed sores.

 

Comatose or Hospitalized People

 

People who are unconscious or hospitalized lack mobility and are more prone to bed sores. That’s why asking our loved ones if they feel unwell is always essential. This tip pertains to those who are awake.

 

Elderly People

 

People who are old also tend to have mobility issues, which may lead to bed sores. This is due to lack of movement, which is the main contributor to getting bed sores.

 

People Who Lack Proper Nutrition

 

When a person lacks proper nutrition, the body’s immune system gets weaker. When this happens, a person is more prone to contracting diseases. Also, people on the heavy side are prone to pressure sores due to skin friction.

 

Video Credit: @doctors-circle

Signs of Early Stage Bed Sores

 

I hope I didn’t scare you with what I wrote above. Never fear; bed sores are easy to treat if detected early. Now the primary concern is how to see bedsores early on.

early stage bed sores apply pressure

 

Please check the area. If the body has an unusually red or dark area, then that might be a bed sore forming.

Apply pressure if it will not hurt your elderly parent or loved one, and apply pressure in the area. If the site didn’t go back to regular skin color after at least thirty minutes, then that might be a pressure sore forming.

Also, when applying pressure to an affected area, it’s always best to ask your loved one if they are feeling pain. Please don’t use too much pressure too, because that might hurt them.
Another sign of a bed sore is when the skin is hard or spongy. Also, before I forget, when checking the area, could you use gloves? The reason for this is you are still trying to figure out if what your loved one has is a bed sore. It might be contagious and spread through touch, so please wear gloves and apply alcohol. Last, please dispose of anything used to check the area properly.

 

Stages of Bed Sores: A Guide to the Early Stage Bed Sores

 

According to an article published by John Hopkins Medicine, these are the four stages of bed sores:

  • Stage 1. The area looks red and feels warm to the touch. With darker skin, the site may have a blue or purple tint. The person may also complain that it burns, hurts, or itches.
  • Stage 2. The area looks more damaged and may have an open sore, scrape, or blister. The person complains of significant pain, and the skin around the wound may be discolored.
  • Stage 3The area is crater-like due to damage below the skin’s surface.
  • Stage 4The area is severely damaged, and a large wound is present. Muscles, tendons, bones, and joints can be involved. Infection is a significant risk at this stage. 
I included the stages of bed sores in this article for you to know the severity of a bed sore. But please don’t let it reach Stage 4. Always remember, prevention is better than cure. I keep stressing this out, but it’s better to consult a doctor immediately once you detect the early signs of a bed sore.

 

Preventing Bed Sores

 

Movement is the critical bed sore that usually occurs when there is a lack of blood flow in an affected area. We can only sit down briefly or lie in bed all day. But this tip can’t apply across the board to all. In cases where your loved one is bedridden, you can move their position. The recommended interval for changing their work is at least every two hours to keep the blood flowing.

 

Invest in a Pressure Relief Mattress

 

A pressure relief mattress is a must-buy for our elderly loved ones who lack movement. A pressure relief mattress is a particular type of mattress that distributes weight. By distributing weight properly, it lowers the pressure in one area. Aside from adequately distributing weight, this mattress also helps improve sleep quality.

 

The ways to prevent pressure sores are pretty easy to do so that you won’t forget them. But to summarize, always ensure that no area is under constant pressure. Also, invest in a few key pieces to help distribute the body’s weight.

 

Wear Loose Clothing and Apply Lotion

 

This tip is something I came to know through experience, so I wanted to share it with you. When I was caring for my elderly loved one, she had a bed sore which we had the doctor check. He told us that pressure sores can form due to constant skin friction and weight gain. He advised us to avoid wearing tight clothing, which can cause skin friction. He also advised us to apply lotion to areas of the skin prone to skin friction. These are the buttocks, inner thighs, and the back.

A Few Parting Words

 

Please, I beg you, seek the help of a professional. Medical illnesses are not something to be taken lightly. If you have the means, please ask for help immediately. A doctor will help pinpoint early stage bed sores and provide the proper medication if needed.

 

 

FAQs

 
How do I prevent pressure sores?

Don’t worry. Preventing pressures is more accessible in comparison to curing them. That’s why I always recommend that people diligently prevent pressure sores. Removing constant pressure in one area of the body is critical to preventing pressure sores. Aside from this, also avoid unnecessary skin friction. From experience, I learned to wear loose clothing to prevent skin friction and apply lotion.

Should I worry about bed sores?

Bed sores are not fatal but are a cause for concern. Please consult your doctor to avoid further complications. Going to the doctor may cost money, but as I mentioned, there is no price for life.

When should I go to the Doctor?

When the first signs of a bed sore are present, that is the time to go to the doctor. Prevention is always better than cure.

How long do you think will my loved one's bed sore heal?

To be honest, the healing process of a bed sore is always on a case-to-case basis. The severity of the bed sore is a crucial consideration to this. In my experience, my loved one’s bed sore lasted for almost a month before it healed. That only refers to the wound itself and not the scar.

 

Also, if you want to know about the best emergency alert devices, this article is an in-depth guide to help you choose one.

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