Pressure wounds, pressure sores, pressure ulcers, decubitus ulcers can be serious. Proper wound care is important.
Addressing the many aspects of wound care usually requires a multidisciplinary approach. Members of your care team may include:
- A primary care physician who oversees the treatment plan
- A physician specializing in wound care
- Nurses or medical assistants who provide both care and education for managing wounds
- A physical therapist who helps with improving mobility
- A dietitian who monitors your nutritional needs and recommends an appropriate diet
Stage I and II pressure wounds usually heal within several weeks to months with conservative care of the wound and ongoing, appropriate general wound care. Stage III and IV pressure ulcers are more difficult to treat.
Note: Pressure sores may occur very rapidly with some individuals. It is important that one closely monitors a wound and begins a treatment process as soon as a wound is detected.
Examples of pressure ulcers, (also referred to as pressure wounds, pressure sores) in their various stages:
Stage 2: Initial breaking of the skin surface
Stage 3: The wound is boring further below the skin surface
Stage 4: The wound has burrowed to the bone
Any pressure wound that progresses beyond Stage 2 should have professional medical assistance.
The first step should be to reduce the pressure that caused the pressure ulcer by any or all of the following:
- Reposition yourself frequently. If you are in a wheelchair you should reposition yourself (get help if needed) every 15 minutes.
- Use effective support surfaces. If you are in a wheelchair use a quality cushion* that will relieve pressure on any sores, allow for air circulation and protect vulnerable skin.
Cleansing and Dressing Wounds
- To prevent infection, it is essential to keep pressure wounds If the affected skin is not broken (a stage I wound), gently wash it with water and mild soap and pat dry. Clean open sores with a saltwater (saline) solution each time the dressing is changed.
- A dressing promotes healing by keeping a wound moist, creating a barrier against infection and keeping the surrounding skin dry.
Follow other directions provided by your medical professional(s) who may administer additional treatment solutions.
Above information from MayoClinic.org