1995 - A horse riding accident transformed Christopher Reed
from an actor indelibly identified with SUPERMAN
into a quadriplegic and an outspoken advocate for the disabled. Ten years
later, Reeve's death from complications of a bedsore, called attention
to one of the most serious problems facing people with disabilities.
Is It? - Each year, about one million people in the U.S. develop bedsores,
(decubitus ulcers), simply from prolonged pressure on the skin, generally,
resulting and ranging from mild inflammation to deep wounds that involve
muscle and bone. This can deteriorate into life-threatening blood infections,
destruction and fracture of bones. Some sources refer to it as one of the
"Silent Killer Diseases."
- "Nursing Home abuse and neglect is becoming one of the fastest growing
industries in the legal system today secondary to the large increase in
the elderly population." Some sources call abused seniors and dependant
adults, the "silent victims." Experts estimate that at least 4% of all
elders age 65 and over in the U.S. are abused. Bedsores are at the top
of the list of elder abuse cited by the legal system, followed by falls,
fixtures, malnutrition and dehydration.
ulcers or bedsores are a frequent complication in bedridden patients.
sores develop quickly, progress rapidly, and are often difficult to heal
if allowed to progress, but can usually be cured with proper care.
measures can also encourage healing.
transferred from a hospital to a nursing home are particularly vulnerable,
with 10% to 35% having sores at the time they are admitted to the nursing
show that 50% of patients with pressure ulcers are over the age of 70 and
among these elderly; bedsores means a fourfold increase in the rate of
60,000 deaths a year are attributed to complications caused by bedsores.
Incidence of bedsores varies among nursing homes anywhere between 12-26%
in the U.S.A.
those who are ulcer free at admission 13% develop stage 2 through 4 ulcers
by one year and an alarming 21% by two years.
affected: buttocks, shoulder blades, elbows, heels, ankles, knees, lower
back, spine, and hip.
can lead to other severe medical complications, infections, arthritis,
and scar carcinoma.
million is spent on preventable decubitus ulcers yearly in the U.S. (2000-2).
pressure on vulnerable areas of skin.
resident's skin at least once each day.
shear and friction.
irritation from chemicals.
resident to eat well.
skin clean and dry.
daily: bedridden can stretch, isometrics: walking.
- Firstly, aggressive, intensive treatment and wound management intervention
by our fully licensed, experienced surgeons of Coast to Coast Wound Care is essential in assessing
and caring for any signs of an ulceration in its earliest stages. Bedsores
that are advanced and will not readily heal can require incision, drainage,
skin flaps, skin grafts, and bone resection. Our surgeons can also provide
conservative sharp bedside debridement of wounds, but wounds that are exceedingly
progressed or unresponsive, may require plastic surgery. In later stages,
also, deep craters may need skin grafting and other forms of reconstructive
II, III, IV - In many cases, however, with skilled care, the prognosis
for bedsores is good. Expertise bedside treatment can heal most Stage II
bedsores within a few weeks or longer. If conservative methods fail to
heal a Stage III or Stage IV bedsore, reconstructive surgery often can
repair the damaged area. Without proper treatment, however, they can lead
to: gangrene, osteomyelitis, fractures, sepsis, and other localized or
systemic infections, increased cost of treatment, lengthen nursing home
stays, or even cause death.
- In spite of this, forecast issues, or overall 'prognosis' of bedsores,
by their nature are still unpredictable, because of the many and diverse
outcome possibilities; duration, health, complication, recovery prospects,
survival rates, death rates, and other issues.
- Many factors influence the duration of bedsores. Healing can vary anywhere
from one to six weeks, or from six weeks to three months, but often longer.
Stage II to IV ulcers may take longer than six months to heal. Bedsores
can be an ongoing problem. For the chronically ill group, the fight can
be a long-term battle
Aging | Chronic wounds | Bedsores
| Wound types | Pain | Diet and healing | Risk factors