When you have a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility, you expect them to receive high-quality care. You also expect that staff will keep them safe from preventable medical issues.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, bedsores can cause major health effects, especially in elderly adults already in ill-health. As a result, caregivers must take the proper steps to prevent them.
What causes bedsores?
A combination of factors contributes to the development of bedsores. They result from restricted blood flow for two or more hours and pressure on the body, which frequently affects people with mobility issues. This includes people in wheelchairs or those confined to a bed.
What are the different stages?
Determining the stage of bedsore provides insight regarding its severity. Accordingly, there are four stages:
Stage 1 bedsores cause mild burning or itching, which is often accompanied by a warm sensation on the skin. People with light complexions will notice the area appears red, while people with dark complexions might notice purple or blue tones. Although stage 1 bedsores are the least severe, they still require timely treatment to prevent worsening effects.
By stage 2, bedsores progress to a sore or blister, with noticeable skin discoloration around the wound itself. Discomfort typically worsens to the point where the person may experience significant pain.
Skin damage worsens by stage 3. Damage will extend below the surface of the skin to create a crater-like appearance. The risk of infection increases as the skin becomes more damaged.
In addition to skin damage, stage 4 bedsores can also affect other areas of the body. This includes joints, bones, muscles, and tendons. The risk of infection becomes even more severe upon reaching stage 4.
It is not always possible to avoid bedsores. However, caregivers must take swift action to ensure they receive the proper treatment. Caregivers must also take steps to stop them from occurring, including moving bedridden patients several times a day.