Pressure Sore or Decubitus Ulcers

A pressure sore results from pressure applied with great force for short periods of time or less force over a longer period. They are common in patients who are bedridden and do not frequently move or change position. The pressure impairs circulation which deprives tissues of oxygen and nutrients, causing damage. Bony prominences where friction and force combine are typical places for an ulcer to form. Your nurse will assess all aspects of your ulcer including:

  • Stage of ulcer
  • Size of ulcer
  • Site of ulcer
  • Presence of tunneling or undermining
  • Presence of necrotic tissue
  • Drainage amount, color and color
  • Granulation
  • Pain
  • Condition of surrounding tissue

There are four different stages of pressure ulcers:

  • Stage 1
    • Non-blanchable redness of intact skin
  • Stage 2
    • Partial thickness skin loss
    • Area is reddened and may have blisters
  • Stage 3
    • Full thickness skin loss
    • Deep crater, necrotic tissue, destruction of capillary bed
  • Stage 4
    • Full thickness skin loss
    • Extensive destruction and tissue necrosis
    • Destruction of deeper tissue into muscle mass and bone

To help your wound heal, the nurse will pack it with a dressing to decrease infection and remove secretions and dead tissue. In addition, they will educate you on the proper management and prevention of pressure ulcers.

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