Pressure ulcer prevention
Nurse massaging a patient in a coma to stop pressure ulcers from developing.
Developing pressure ulcers
Red and flakey skin on the heels of a patient that is developing pressure ulcers. Regular turning, careful hygiene of common pressure ulcer sites and barrier creams may be used to stop ulcers forming. Sheepskin, cushions and special mattresses are also good precautions.
Nurse cutting away dead tissue from a pressure ulcer on an elderly patient. Gloves should always be worn during wound care and surgical debridement.
Nurse putting a clean dressing on a pressure ulcer located on an elderly patient. Gloves should always be worn during wound care.
Close up of a pressure ulcer on the buttock of a patient. This deep ulcer has a well-defined margin. There is a collection of pus (yellow) in the right lower corner of the ulcer. The sores start as red painful areas that become purple before the skin breaks down into open sores. Once open, the sore can become infected, enlarged and deeper. Deep, chronic sores may require treatment with antibiotic drugs, packing with plastic foam and possibly plastic surgery.
Infected pressure ulcer
A pressure ulcer on the back of a 65-year-old woman. Constant pressure on an area of skin causes it to break down, leading to infection. Infected sores enlarge and deepen over time. Treatment is with antibiotic drugs and dressings, although large sores such as this one may take a very long time to heal. Prevention of pressure sores is easier than curing them. Frequent turning and scrupulous hygiene is necessary to help prevent the formation of pressure sores in bedridden people.
Pressure ulcers are also know as a decubitus ulcers or a bedsores, is an ulcerated area of skin caused by irritation and continuous pressure on a part of the body. Pressure ulcers often occur in bedridden, elderly patients, especially those who are unconscious. Reduced blood supply makes healing difficult. Diligent nurse care, including cleansing and repositioning is necessary to prevent gangrene.