Pressure sores, also called pressure ulcers or bedsores, are injuries that occur to soft tissue with long-term pressure on one area. If your dad is in a wheelchair all day, every day, and never adjusts his position, he’s more likely to get pressure sores. They can be uncomfortable for him to deal with, but they’re also problematic as they increase the risk of infection. It’s time to look at what skilled nursing care providers do to help treat pressure sores.
What Stage Is It At?
Pressure sores are going to fall in one of four stages. Ideally, you want to get a pressure sore in the earliest stages, but that doesn’t always happen.
- Stage I is a red, sore area where the skin can feel warm to the touch. If you press on it, it doesn’t get a white patch that disappears as blood comes back in.
- Stage II occurs when the sore forms a blister or open sore. The skin is going to be red or irritated.
- Stage III is when the skin has an open sore that is sunken. Tissue in the sunken area is damaged and you might even see some fat in the sore.
- Stage IV is severe and the pressure sore has gotten deep enough that it can damage the underlying muscle, bone, tendon, or joint.
Pressure sores are more likely in bony areas, such as the hip, elbow, heel, shoulder, or back of the head. Once diagnosed, they require special care. They need to be carefully cleaned and bandaged. If your dad is incontinent, a barrier cream like Vaseline is needed to protect the sore from urine.
A Stage I pressure sore needs to be washed with soap and water. Stage II sores should be cleaned with saline and have the loose tissue rinsed away. A nurse has access to specialized cleaners that are even better.
Stage III and IV sores have to be treated by a medical professional. Skilled nurses are trained in wound care and can clean and dress them and monitor for signs of infection.
Can You Do This Yourself?
While some early-stage pressure sores may be treated at home with your care and attention, you need to be able to stage them correctly. Talk to your dad’s doctor. If they are in a higher stage, a skilled nurse is the key to avoiding infections that can put your dad’s health at risk.
Not only will nurses keep pressure sores cleaned and bandaged, but they can also help your dad with pain management. They’ll also know the signs of infection and can consult with doctors if antibiotics become necessary. Medication administration is a service available from skilled nurses.
Don’t let your dad’s pressure sores become infected or inflamed. Arrange skilled nursing care to have a trained professional clean and dress these sores. Learn more by making a call.