Pressure sores are a common problem for patients who have been immobilized for a long period of time. These sores are wounds on body where too much pressure is put on the skin surface.
Such pressure injuries usually occur on pressure bearing areas of the body. It is also essential to understand that these wounds are not accidental and can be quite painful and have overall inhibitory affect on the recovery of the patient. Hence, it becomes essential to know the symptoms, causes and treatment aspects of these wounds.
Identify the signs –
- The first warning sign can be erythema or reddened skin which appears in skin areas sustaining maximum pressure from either a wheelchair cushion or bed mattress.
- It is very important to identify the location of these pressure sores, as well. Such wounds mainly occur in areas like occiput, elbows, shoulder blades, hip, lower back, heels, internal and anterior part of the knee.
- Medical attention becomes necessary as soon as a non subsiding erythema sets in.
- If the wound starts darkening and is accompanied with the presence of drainage and dead tissue, consult the healthcare provider immediately.
Know the causes –
- Physical factors are among the primary reason for pressure sores. It exerts unnecessary duress in the body’s pressure points along with shearing friction. Repeated friction and increased pressure thus leads to degeneration of the skin .
- Certain internal factors like anemia ,poor nutrition , poor blood supply also hastens the occurance of pressure sores.
- Certain external factors like foreign bodies, moisture, bandages, medical adhesives can also intensify the occurrence of pressure sores.
Obtain treatment –
- Doctor-supervised rehabilitation can be quite helpful for treating pressure sores. These specialists ensure the application of rigorous methods for preventing such wounds.
- Getting screened for these sores, at an early stage, will be beneficial for you and the rehab team.
- Daily monitoring and examination of the affected areas is vital. The rehabilitation team will also recommend that changing positions frequently can be beneficial for bed ridden patients. This helps in relieving pressure on the affected skin area.
- Regular dressing of a wound and maintaining a dry environment is needed for deep wounds.
- Late stage pressure sores require tissue grafting.
For helping patients in coping better with their condition, ApoKos Rehabilitation Hospital provides different types of beds like nimbus, alpha, etc. which are either water-filled or air-filled mattress. The mattresses help in better positioning of the patient in the bed and aid in protecting vulnerable areas of the body from pressure sores.
Dr Anirudh Chirania
Dr Anirudh Chirania is a Consultant Physiatrist with ApoKOS Rehabilitation Hospital, Hyderabad. He is a specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist for Stroke and Pain Management and has an active experience of over 2 years. He completed his MBBS from IPGMER, Kolkata in 2010, and obtained his DNB (Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation) from Sambhunath Pandit Hospital, Kolkata in 2015. Dr Anirudh also holds a fellowship in Pain Management from Aesculap Academy.