Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Pressure Sore

The pressure sore (sometimes called bed sores if the person is in bed) is when the skin tissue starts to break down from pressure being put on it. You wouldn't think of it happening in bed, but to a person who doesn't move it can. Just do this one thing and you'll see...sit (laying will take longer and don't sit in an easy chair) in one position 30 minutes with no changes. Most will want to at least shift their weight after 15 minutes. You are not allowed to.

The person sitting in a wheel chair can't adjust every 15-20 minutes. If you can do 30 minutes without moving, then go the full hour. Your bottom may become uncomfortable. This is an area that develops pressure sores.

Sores start as redness and we don't think about them. When it reaches the further stages, medical intervention, maybe even hospitalization might be needed.

Caregivers should always check for redness, usually when undressing. Check when removing an AFO (ankle-foot orthotic) or brace. People laying in bed should be turned on a side every few hours.

The pressure sore can go deep and lead to blood poisoning. Home care can prevent this, though. Check for redness. Get off of or relieve what's causing the redness. If it's just a wrinkle in the sheets or clothes that caused it, re-position and don't get the person up into something rigid like a wheelchair or stander that day. A red mark usually goes away in a day and a lot of times faster. If it persists, seek medical attention.

If it's a child with an AFO or brace that is causing redness, don't put it on and let the teacher know. You might need to do a note. Experiment with thinner, well-fitted protective under-garments before making an adjustment appointment. If the redness is not in an area sat on, the person can get up.


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