In healthcare, one often underestimated threat looms large. This is the dreaded bedsore, also known as a pressure ulcer or decubitus ulcer.
Although seemingly insignificant, these wounds can have large consequences. This includes far-reaching implications for the health and well-being of older adults in nursing homes.
Easy to miss
Bedsores, which come from prolonged pressure on specific body areas, often go unnoticed until they reach advanced stages. Patients confined to a bed or a wheelchair for extended periods are particularly vulnerable.
The pressure disrupts blood flow, leading to tissue damage. Areas with bony prominences, like the heels, hips and tailbone, are common places to find them.
Risk of infection
As bedsores progress, the compromised skin becomes an open invitation for microbial invasion. Infections can then spiral out of control, spreading to surrounding tissues and even entering the bloodstream. The consequences are dire, potentially leading to systemic infections, such as sepsis, which have a risk of death.
Beyond the physical pain and infection risks, bedsores can severely limit mobility. The discomfort associated with these ulcers often discourages movement, contributing to a vicious cycle where immobility increases the very condition that hurts movement in the first place. This can have many implications for an individual’s overall quality of life.
Treating bedsores can be expensive. From wound care supplies to extended hospital stays, the financial burden associated with managing these ulcers can escalate rapidly. Moreover, the cost of rehabilitation and long-term care adds another layer to the economic fallout.
With bedsores being the source of 60,000 deaths in America every year, this injury demands a person’s unwavering attention. Only through a collective commitment to prevention and early intervention can people hope to reduce the dangers posed by bedsores.