Not feeling the pain of bed sores can be deadly. Not knowing when the biggest organ on your body is in trouble can lead to festering infections that cannot be cured. Also known as pressure sores, this is a major health concern for anyone who is confined to a wheelchair or bed.
Feeling pain is not necessarily a bad thing. The inability to know when something hurts means the problem will be left untreated until discovered, because it is progressed to the point of becoming a health hazard. How else do you describe a pressure sore that is now a gaping, oozing wound that goes clear down to the bone?
Treatment for Advanced Bed Sores
Caring for an individual who may have limited motion and feeling in the body generally falls to the caregiver. It is extremely important to check everywhere the skin comes in constant contact with the chair or bed. Under continuing pressure and friction, it does not take long for the circulation to the skin to be cut off. Then, the skin will slough off and die. Once this occurs, a nasty sore has already become a challenge to treat with bandages and ointments.
Seek Professional Help
If you, or your caregiver, notice a bed sore, do not wait until it becomes an oozing mess to seek a doctor’s help. Going to the doctor, while antibiotics can still facilitate healing, is preferable to waiting until a more invasive procedure is required. If a sore is too deep, the doctor will scrape away the dead skin and clean the infection from the wound.
Depending on the depth and severity of the pressure sore, you or your loved one may require heavy duty intravenous antibiotics. Thus, a hospital stay may be necessary.
Preventing pressure sores
To avoid further complications due to immobility, it is better to learn how to avoid pressure sores or bed sores in the first place. Cushioning the body to relieve the pressure is a step in the right direction. Wheelchair cushions and egg crate mattress pads are both excellent methods of giving the skin a chance to breathe.
In addition to cushioning, keeping the skin as clean and dry as possible is important to promote a healthy epidermis. While cleaning the skin, be vigilant in checking for even the telltale signs of bed sores.
Keeping the skin clean is only one way to lessen the potential for bed sores. Although most people may be surprised, good nutrition plays an important part in helping sedentary individuals in maintaining good skin quality. However, many people who are confined to a bed or a wheelchair do not have healthy appetites. So, it is imperative to eat healthy weather hunger is a factor or not. Many small supplemental drinks are now available to help guarantee people will receive the proper amount of nutrients for the day, in as little as 6 ounces of liquid.
In summary, individuals with mobility issues who are confined to a bed or wheelchair will always have to be on the lookout for bed or pressure sores. Over time, circulation can be cut off to an area of the skin, causing deep infected wounds that may be fatal. So, take preventative measures and seek medical help immediately, if a bed sore is discovered.