Bed Sore / Pressure Sore

Bed sore (or pressure sore or decubitus ulcer) is a sore or lesion found in bed-ridden patients.

Symptoms of Bed Sore

The symptoms of bed sores are:

  • Sores, ulcers, or lesions in the skin
  • Tenderness and swelling
  • The feeling of warmth
  • Pain
  • If a secondary bacterial infection develop at the sore, then foul-smelling yellow or green fluid or pus discharge can be seen.

Early indication of bed sores are redness of the skin. Left untreated, deep ulcers that penetrate through the skin, muscle, and fat tissues (sometimes all the way to the bones) can form.

These sores are most often seen on the:

  • Hips
  • Buttocks
  • Lower back
  • Shoulder blades
  • Elbows
  • Ankles
  • Heels

Bed Sore Causes

Bed sores are caused when too much lying on a bed or sitting on a chair causes constant pressure on certain parts of the body. This causes bloodflow to these areas to be reduced, and tissue damage to occur.

Who Gets It?

Most people who get bed sores are those who are paralyzed, bed-ridden, or too weak to move and turn their body. Often, these are elderly patients which are already in poor health.

Bed Sore Prevention

Poor nursing procedures are usually to blame if a hospitalized patient develops bed sores. Bed sores are completely preventable by:

  • Moving a bed-ridden or chair-ridden person at least once every 2 hours

  • Using specially designed mattress and cushions that can evenly distribute body weight to prevent undue pressure on a localized area

  • Using clean bedsheets and linens

  • Placing pillows under the lower leg to relieve pressure on the back

  • Exercising or performing passive movement exercises, if the person is too weak. In this exercise, a nurse or orderly moves the arms and legs for that person

  • Eating nutritious meals, as malnourished people are more prone to developing bed sores

Treatment for Bed Sore?

Bed sore can be treated by:

  • Oral and topical antibiotic prescriptions
  • Cleaning and bandaging the affected area
  • Avoiding putting pressure on the sores
  • Surgery

Note that bed sores usually take a very long time to heal.

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