Bedsores refer to injuries of the skin and underlying tissues that occur when a part of the body receives pressure for too long of a time. Though bedsores can occur just about anywhere, they typically develop over bony areas of the body, such as the hips, tailbone, ankles and heels. Additionally, though they can occur to any person of any age, they are most prevalent in elderly individuals who live in nursing homes.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home, it is critical that you keep an eye out for bedsores. This is because bedsores, if left untreated, can result in serious complications. Mayo Clinic details the top complications of bedsores.
In the initial stages, bedsores can result in an infection of the skin called “cellulitis.” Symptoms of cellulitis include inflammation, swelling and warmth around the infected area.
Infections of the bones and joints
If bedsores progress past cellulitis, the sore may burrow deeper. When it does, the bones and joints may become infected. Infections of the bones can hinder the way in which they and the limbs function. Infections of the joints may cause damage to the tissues and cartilage.
If wounds persist without treatment and for a long period, your elderly loved one may develop cancer. The type of cancer related to bedsores is called squamous cell carcinoma.
In worst-case scenarios, bedsores may cause sepsis. Sepsis is an extreme response to infection and is a life-threatening condition.
Bedsores are a serious condition that can develop into more serious complications. To safeguard your loved one’s long-term health, be on the lookout for bedsores and other signs of neglect.