Essay on Decubitus Ulcers

Essay on Decubitus Ulcers

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Over the years, nursing homes patients haven't been given the attention that they need. Because elders are so vulnerable and they require a lot of attention, this type of treatment has been labeled as nursing home abuse. One of the signs of ongoing abuse and neglect include decubitus ulcers also known as "bed sores. These types of sores are created when excessive pressure is applied to a certain area. They can range from a mild pink coloration of the skin, which disappears in a few hours after pressure is relieved from the area, to a very deep wound extending to and sometimes through a bone into internal organs. Although these are some of the first signs of nursing home abuse, skin burns are another sign of abuse. A burn is a harmful injury that damages and destroys skin layers. They usually result from simple scalds to chemical injury. Decubitus ulcers, as well as skin burns are classified in stages according to the severity of the wound.

About 23 percent of people in skilled care and nursing home facilities and 11 percent in acute care settings have decubitus ulcers. In high-risk patients, including elderly individuals with femoral fractures, the incidence and prevalence is over 60 percent. Risk factors for pressure ulcers include immobility or restricted mobility, loss of bowel or bladder control, poor nutrition, and impaired mental awareness. For example, 65 percent of elderly patients hospitalized

A stage 1 decubitus ulcer is an observable pressure related alteration of intact skin whose indicators, as compared to an adjacent or opposite area on the body, may include changes in one or more of the following: warm or cool skin temperature, firm or boggy feel of tissue consistency and a painful sensation. ...


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...g infection, especially if not aggressively treated. All of the usual treatment methods of protecting, cleaning and alleviation of pressure to the area still apply in this stage just as they apply in all stages. Nutrition and hydration, however, are not just important in this stage, nut now critical. Without the adequate nutrition, this stage wound will never heal.

A stage 4 decubitus ulcer patients requires serious medical care by someone very skilled in wound care. A wound with such a large diameter as stage 4 decubitus ulcers usually require surgical removal of the necrotic or decayed tissue around the ulcer. While surgery of this type is the usual kind of treatment, it does not always work. When surgical removal of the tissue fail, amputation is necessary. Without amputation of the damaged area, infection will spread to the other areas of the body.

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