Concerns About Pressure Ulcers
Pressure ulcers, or bedsores, are an area of concern for individuals with
severely limited mobility. Pressure ulcers appear on bony areas of the
body, like the lower back, hips, ankles, and shoulders, after prolonged periods
of immobility which force the person to lie in bed or sit in a wheelchair.
Pressure ulcers are caused by friction and prolonged exposure to moisture, such
as wet sheets, as well. Pressure ulcers begin as reddened areas of skin
around the bony areas and, if the ulcers are left untreated and allowed to
worsen, can eventually result in exposure of muscles, tendons, and bones where
the layers of skin have completely deteriorated. Elderly people with
severely limited mobility are particularly susceptible to pressure ulcers
because of poor circulation. Elderly care facilities should take measures
to prevent pressure ulcers and be equipped to treat pressure ulcers. To
prevent pressure ulcers, the immobile person should be shifted frequently or, if
possible, put into a standing device to reduce the pressure on susceptible
areas. Because moisture, especially as the result of incontinence, causes
pressure ulcers, sheets and blankets should be monitored for dryness frequently
and changed as often as necessary.
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