PRESSURE ULCER

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Tips how to prevent, manage this type of wound

A pressure ulcer is any lesion caused by unrelieved pressure resulting in damage of underlying tissues.

It occurs from lack of blood supply to the tissues. It’s usually located over bony prominences.

It is staged based on the degree of tissue damage     observed.

Stage I:  Nonblanchable redness – skin intact, may be superficial or deep tissue damage

Stage II:  Partial thickness skin loss – abrasion, blister etc.

Stage III:  Full thickness skin loss – deep wound

Stage IV:  Full thickness skin loss – damage to muscle, bone etc.

Elderly people with mobility restriction and poor nutrition are at greater risk.

The key word is:  Prevention

  • Check skin daily for redness, bruises etc.
  • Massage bony prominences routinely
  • Avoid tight fitting shoes
  • Avoid lying on bony areas for long period of times
  • Use appropriate cushion on chairs or w/c
  • Avoid trauma to the skin, such as shearing, skin tears, abrasion
  • Maintain adequate fluid and dietary intake
  • Maintain physical activities such as active or passive range of motion, ambulation etc.

The first sign of a pressure ulcer is a reddened area that does not blanched when you press on it. It may be superficial or it may be a sign of deeper tissue damage. It can be reversible if treated promptly.

After the initial assessment, the MD along with the family/caregiver should develop a wound management care plan based on the severity of the wound. There are a lot of wound care treatments available to protect, debride or promote healing. Remember :  always reassess the effectiveness of a skin/wound care treatment every 30 days.

 

 

 

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