Pressure ulcers

What is Pressure ulcers?

Pressure ulcers, also known as decubitus ulcers or bedsores, are localized injuries to the skin and/or underlying tissue that usually occur over a bony prominence as a result of pressure, or pressure in combination with shear and/or friction. The most common sites are the skin overlying the sacrum, coccyx, heels or the hips, but other sites such as the elbows, knees, ankles or the back of the cranium can be affected.

Pressure ulcers occur due to pressure applied to soft tissue resulting in completely or partially obstructed blood flow to the soft tissue. Shear is also a cause, as it can pull on blood vessels that feed the skin. Pressure ulcers most commonly develop in individuals who are not moving about, such as being bedridden or are confined to a wheelchair. It is widely believed that other factors can influence the tolerance of skin for pressure and shear, thereby increasing the risk of pressure ulcer development. These factors are protein-calorie malnutrition, microclimate (skin wetness caused by sweating or incontinence), diseases that reduce blood flow to the skin, such as arteriosclerosis, or diseases that reduce the sensation in the skin, such as paralysis or neuropathy. The healing of pressure ulcers may be slowed by the age of the person, medical conditions (such as arteriosclerosis, diabetes or infection), smoking or medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs.

Although often prevented and treatable if detected early, pressure ulcers can be very difficult to prevent in critically ill people, frail elders, wheelchair users (especially where spinal injury is involved) and terminally ill individuals. Primary prevention is to redistribute pressure by regularly turning the person. The benefit of turning to avoid further sores is well documented since at least the 19th century. In addition to turning and re-positioning the person in the bed or wheelchair, eating a balanced diet with adequate protein and keeping the skin free from exposure to urine and stool is very important.

The rate of pressure ulcers in hospital settings is high, but improvements are being made. They resulted in 29,000 deaths in 2013 up from 14,000 deaths in 1990.

Questions and answers on "Pressure ulcers"

how to treat pressure ulcer for my grand ma aged around 95 years. she is bed ridden. not taking any food. has not passed urine for past two days....

doctor1 MD

In India we treat this type of pressure ( bed sore ) with great care .
First of all take treatment for diabetes ( if any ) .
Now first of all...

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Can oral antibiotics take care of enterococcus with a fever? Male-46 incomplete c4quad with a pressure ulcer. Previous history of this infection,...

doctor1 MD

Hi, i do care for your concern.
Since there is history of previous use of advanced antibiotics, do not attempt oral mono therapy.
It is advisable...

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I am concerned that my daughter who is 22 has 3 ulcers and the biopsy came back as pylori bacteria. My son was 17 when he had to have emergency...

doctor1 MD

Hi and thanks so much for this query.

I a so sorry hear about all you have experienced and what your family has been through.

H. Pylori is not...

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