Bed sores are known for being uncomfortable and are dreaded by patients who have been recommended bed rest for longer periods of time. There are no particular conditions that can result in getting a bed sore. In fact, it is common for people who have been lying in the same position for hours on end.
However, people have a plethora of concerns when it comes to bed sores. Some believe that they cannot be healed with care, while others even have serious concerns, like can you die from bed sores? Hips, back, ankles, and buttocks are common areas where bed sores are often seen. Here are five things you must know about bed sores.
Stages of Bed Sores And How To Prevent Them For Healthy Recovery
Bed sores occur in four stages, where stages 1 and 2 are minor and can be fixed through medication. However, surgery could be required for stages 3 and 4 to take care of the ulcer.
Stage 1: During this stage, the skin gets discolored, and there are no visible signs of skin breakage. The area around the sore may appear red, but the discoloration can vary in color from blue to even purple. The resultant sore can turn red when it is pressed. The sore can remain red and uncomfortable for at least 30-45 minutes. The area may look swollen, have a strong burning sensation, itch, or be warm to the touch. With proper care and maintenance, the sore can be reversed. Surgery patients, specifically, are often at a high risk of bed sores, which should ideally be checked at or before this stage.
Stage 2: The skin breaks, revealing a small sore or cut. The cut may leak pus, and the sore area will look like a blister filled with fluid. This type of sore affects the first layer of skin, the epidermis. It can also penetrate the skin and reach the second layer of skin, the dermis. The surrounding area becomes discolored, and the ulcer will become painful. There have been many cases of negligence from nurses and doctors during the time a patient is left completely in their care, and many families have resorted to taking legal action against such care and nursing homes for negligence.
Stage 3: At this point, the ulcer reaches deeper layers of the skin, and it can get really painful when someone is sleeping on the side affected by the ulcer. At this point, the sore might have a pungent smell, and moving around can hurt. If the soreness is near the arms, there’s a high chance that the ulcer will make it difficult for free movement of the arms. Additionally, at this point, the soreness can reach the fat layer within the skin, making the patient incredibly vulnerable to infections. It also makes it challenging for the patient to rest properly.
Stage 4: Surgery might be required to get rid of the damage caused by the sore. There is a high possibility that the sore will reach deeper layers of the skin, and you might be able to see muscles, bones, joints, and even tendons. At this stage, there’s a higher risk of getting an infection that can cause serious damage to the affected area. Additionally, it is worth noting that it can get really painful to lie down on the side affected by the sore. Immediate action will be required to prevent the infection from spreading deeper into the body.
Unstageable: There is a chance that at this stage of the sore, it can be difficult to understand and treat it by following adequate precautionary measures. Hence, the doctors would need to thoroughly check the sore’s seriousness before deciding the best course of action.
Pressure sores can be difficult on patients who are on bed rest for long periods of time. It can further add to the pain, making it difficult to recover faster. If you have suffered a bed sore due to negligence, then you can always seek legal help and assistance. While friends and family can help with the situation, at the end of the day, it is the medical staff’s responsibility to ensure you have a safe and supervised healing.