As with any other type of ulcer, a Decubitus Ulcer can be a major problem. A Decubitus Ulcer can not only be extremely painful, but can also be extremely difficult to cure. By definition, a Decubitus Ulcer refers to the serious aggravation, or ulceration of a person’s skin. This ulceration continues to the underlying tissue beneath the skin, and is generally caused by prolonged pressure to the above skins affected area. This pressure is usually a result of prolonged sitting, or lying.
These irritations to the underlying tissue will usually occur in the areas where the skin covers the “bony bulges. " Examples would be the heels, buttocks, and back of a persons head. The Decubitus Ulcer is more commonly referred to as a “bed sore, " a “pressure sore, ” or a “pressure ulcer. ” This type of skin injury is a common problem for those who have experienced a stroke, or those who suffer from paralysis.
Victim's of paralysis, and those who are restricted to wheelchairs, are very susceptible to this type of problem due to the fact that too much pressure is being placed on a specific area of their body. This pressure denies their skin the oxygen, nutrients, and proper blood circulation it needs to stay healthy. If not given proper medical attention, the tissue that wraps the bone will slowly decay due to this lack of proper blood circulation.
Comparisons have been made to the series of injury that often occur with burn wounds. Decubitus Ulcers may start by distinguishing themselves with a mild redness of the skin, or blistering like those associated with first-degree burns. This early condition can lead to a painful deep open wound with blackened tissue, much like that found in third degree burns.
A Decubitus Ulcer can start from a simple prolonged application of pressure in the prone areas. However, in some other cases, the ulcer can result from the simple friction created when rubbing the body part against a bed sheet, cast, brace, or even from prolonged exposure to high temperature.
Additional areas that may be affected would include the heels, the buttock area (specifically, the coccyx or tailbone), in the spine, hips, and even elbows.
In the case of the Decubitus Ulcer, experts agree that a great deal of emphasis should be placed on the prevention, as well as the treatment of this problem.
Decubitus Ulcer: Basic Prevention and Treatment Options
* Changing of the patients position. The best, and most obvious, prevention method would be the regular changing of the patient’s position. This position change should be made as frequently as possible, or at least every two hours. A simple shifting of the patient's position can be enough to give the affected tissue some relief from the pressure. This relief will better enable the tissue to avoid the prolonged, excessive pressure that would make the area prone to bedsore.
* Use the protection of padding. Padding used to prevent the abrasion of tissue can be very effective. In addition to the obvious benefit of padding, it can also help maintain the body’s hydration, nutrition, and assist with hygiene as well.
* Always remove dead skin tissue to keep the affected area clean. By maintaining proper hygiene in the affected area that always keeps it clean and sanitized, you can eliminate the dead skin tissue that may become a breeding ground for infection.
* When it comes to treatment, use only prescribed products, and procedures. Using antibiotics can be helpful when treating the illness. Should medical procedures be required, consult with your physician and consider the surgical removal, or debridement of necrotic tissue, or dead cells. In more serious cases, amputations may also be required, and recommended.
* Whenever possible, try to remove all pressure from the involved area/s. This will help to avoid further destruction, or damage to the tissue allowing the opportunity for uninterrupted healing.
Decubitus Ulcers can be very problematic. If you or someone you know is at risk for this problem, be sure to take great care, and exercise every prevention option you can.
Copyright Carl DiNello
Carl DiNello is an Article Author whose articles are featured on websites covering the Internet's most popular topics.
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