Pressure sores, also known as bed sores, are very painful and debilitating. Anyone can be affected by pressure sores, but they are more common in certain circumstances. If bed sores are not treated, they can develop into open wounds and blisters. The worst pressure sores may even reach bone level; these are the most serious kind.
Whether you are caring for a relative at home or are concerned about a loved in in a nursing home, these are the risk factors to watch out for.
Being older is a major risk. Seniors are far more likely to develop pressure sores because they are less active and more likely to be confined to bed. Older people have more delicate skin, which can be damaged more easily. In addition, dehydration is a problem with a lot of older people, which can increase the risk of developing pressure sores. If a senior relative has developed bed sores and you are concerned it happened because they received inadequate care, contact the best bed sore attorney and get the help they deserve.
While older people are more likely to be confined to bed, anyone who is bedridden is susceptible to pressure sores. Patients in hospitals and nursing homes need to be cared for properly. If a patient is left in bed, so they end up lying in the same position for days at a time, it is probable that they will develop pressure sores. Because of this, it is vital that bedridden patients are repositioned regularly. If they can’t move, a nurse or carer must assist.
Paralysis raises the risk of developing bed sores because the patient is unable to move on their own. They needn’t be confined to bed to develop pressure sores. Being stuck in a chair can also increase the risk. For this reason, if you or a loved one is confined to a wheelchair or chair, make sure you or they change position regularly.
Inactivity Due to Obesity
Plenty of people are inactive; it’s a common factor of modern life. However, obesity can significantly increase the risk of pressure sores. Obese people are often physically inactive for long periods. If they are too large to move easily, they might spend days sitting in a chair, even sleeping in the chair because they can’t get into bed. This is a red flag for pressure sores, and if left unchecked, the person will likely develop sores in areas such as the hips or lower spine.
Medical Conditions that Cause Pressure Sores
Some medical conditions make the skin more fragile or affect blood circulation. For example, people with diabetes are affected by poor circulation and neuropathy, so they might not be aware of the pressure points. Parkinson’s Disease is another condition where pressure sores are common because the patient is physically unable to move and is likely to have incontinence, which can increase the risk of pressure ulcers.
Finally, weight loss is a risk factor because it can lead to malnutrition and poor skin collagen synthesis.