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Bedsores: From warning signs to prevention, all you need to know

Bedsores are a condition that occurs in patients who are bedridden for a long time. This condition is also known as pressure ulcers. In this, the sores reach the tissues because of the excess pressure on the skin. This often happens in the joints like tailbone, heels, ankles, hips etc.

But how does one know that they are suffering from bedsores, or they might get it? Let us take a look at some of the warning signs of bedsores:

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  • Unusual changes to skin texture and colour
  • Swelling
  • A part of the skin that you feel is having a higher temperature than other areas.

How to prevent it?

  • It can be prevented if the patient changes their position frequently so that no part of the body is under continuous pressure.
  • The patient must have good nutrition and stay hydrated.
  • Taking care of the patient’s skin.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Reduce stress-levels
  • Performing daily exercise to keep the skin cells active.

Now let us take a look at how can you keep the patient always on the move even though they are bedridden?

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  • Lift the patient whenever possible. If the patient is strong enough, they must do wheelchair pushups. Wheelchair push-ups are done by raising your body from the chair by pushing the arms of the chair.
  • Choose mattresses for the patients that are comfortable for them and can move easily on them. There are special water beds that are available in the market to avoid bedsores. You can use them as well.
  • Adjust the elevation of the patient’s bed. An elevation of 30° is good as it prevents shearing.
  • Keep the skin hydrated by using moisturizer.

If the patient is suffering from bedsores, they can do the following things to treat it:

  • Remove anything that is causing pressure on the skin
  • Control co-morbid illnesses like loss of sensation, diabetes
  • Provide a balanced diet for the patient for good nutrition
  • Regular dressing of the affected area
  • Elevating the limb to avoid any lymphatic accumulation and drain the lymphatic fluids
  • Regular physiotherapy

These are some of the general ways that you implement to prevent and cure bed sores. If the condition of the patient is severe then you must consult a doctor immediately.

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