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What are bed sores?

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2019 | Nursing Home Neglect |

Severe mobility limitations can lead to bed sores. This is a major concern in nursing homes, where bedridden residents may develop painful sores if they’re not properly cared for. If you have a senior loved one in a nursing home in Alabama, the following information will help you stay involved in his or her care.

Johns Hopkins Medicine explains that bed sores, also referred to as pressure sores, are caused by a lack of blood supply. A painful red sore develops as a result, and if untreated this sore can penetrate deep into the muscle tissue and bone. People with certain health conditions or compromised immune systems may find the recovery process to be lengthy, with some bed sores taking months to heal while others require surgery. Bed sores are a common problem for people who are bedridden, as well as those confined to a wheelchair.  

Bed sores are split into four stages, which range in severity. Stage 1 sores are red in color and give off a warm sensation. With stage 2, an open sore resembling a blister can develop and pain is substantial. Damaged tissue below the skin is associated with stage 3, which deepens the wound. Stage 4 bed sores are highly susceptible to infection. At this stage, bone, muscles, tendons, and joints may also be affected.

According to the Mayo Clinic, bed sores most often appear on the shoulder blades, back and sides of the head, heels, behind the knees, hips, and tail bone when a person is confined to bed for a long period of time. This highlights the importance of consistent moving by a caregiver, which takes pressure off these body parts. Potential complications include cellulitis, which is a bacterial skin infection, infections in the bones and joints, and cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma can occur when a wound is present for an extended period without healing.

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