Read through to the end for some tips on how to create homemade pressure relief creations from home.
The main cause of pressure sores is immobility of the person; especially immobility of the hips and/or buttocks, although other areas of the body may be affected too like the heals, elbows even the shoulders and back area are common: other contributing factors or causes are friction and/or shear forces, inability to feel pain, incontinence, thin skin, poor nutrition. Pressure sores can lead to deep tissue damage and necrosis, a sore can start to develop if blood supply is cut off for more than 2 to 3 hours.
Somethings that are helpful to reduce or heal pressure sores are:
When redness is seen on the surface of the skin, check for blanching, remove pressure from the area, and monitor the area for changes frequently every hour to two hours should be changing positions. Using the proper seating cushions that distributes pressure as evenly as possible or pressure relieving mattresses, heal protectors elbow protectors. Use skin moisturizers with a barrier cream. Manage incontinence, Hydration is critical to keeping the skin healthy. Protein is the most important nutritional food group for wound healing. Consider nutritional supplements if someone has a hard time eating protein shakes are good as well as vitamins A and C, and zinc combination. Again I am not a medical provider always consult with your health care provider before taking any kind of supplements.
The signs and symptoms of pressure sores vary with the progressive stages the pressure sore may develop; stages range from stage 1-4, and symptoms in the usual order of appearance although there may be overlapping of signs and symptoms such as discolored skin purple or dark red blisters that may be blood-filled.
Pressure injuries are described in four stages: Stage 1 sores are not open wounds. At Stage 2, the skin breaks open, wears away, or forms an ulcer, which is usually tender and painful. During Stage 3, the sore gets worse and extends into the tissue beneath the skin, forming a small crater. Stage 4 You may be able to see tendons, muscles, and bone.
This is the mildest stage is Stage 1. These pressure sores only affect the top layers of your skin. Pain, burning, or itching are common symptoms. The spot may also feel different from the surrounding skin: firmer or softer, and or warmer. At stage 1, where the skin is red or discolored but not broken, can heal if treated correctly. The best way to treat in this stage is to remove the cause of, keep the sore clean and dry, drink plenty of water, and eat proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Continue to reposition every hour to two hours.
Stage 2 is when the sore digs deeper below the surface of your skin. The skin is broken, leaves an open wound, or looks like a pus-filled or blood blister. The area is swollen, warm, and/or red. The sore may ooze clear fluid or pus and or blood this is painful. If you see signs of a sore like this always consult your care provider for care of your wound. Keeping the sore clean and covered with a see-through dressing or moist gauze until you can be seen by your health care provider is recommended. A Stage 2 pressure sore should get better in 3 days to 3 weeks dependent on a lot of factors always consult your care provider everyone is different.
Stage 3 sores have gone through the second layer of skin into the fat tissue. The sore looks like a crater and may have a bad odor. It may show signs of infection: red edges, pus, odor, heat, and/or drainage. The tissue in or around the sore can be black if it has died. Stage 3 sores will need more care. Always contact your health care provider, you may also be able to get a recommendation for a special cushion or special bed or mattress. A Stage 3 pressure sore will take longer to heal at least one month, and up to 4 months or more to heal.
Stage 4 sores are the most serious. Some may even affect your muscles and ligaments, red edges, pus, odor, heat, and/or drainage. You may be able to see tendons, muscles, and bone. Tell your health care provider right away. All wounds need immediate attention, and you may need surgery to fix a stage 4 wound. A Stage 4 pressure sore could take anywhere from 3 months or much, much longer, even years, to heal.
Unstageable is when you can’t see the bottom of the sore, so you don’t know how deep it is. Your health care provider is the only one who can only stage it once it’s cleaned out.
Suspected Deep Tissue Injury This is when the surface of the skin looks like a Stage 1 or 2 sore, but underneath the surface it’s a Stage 3 or 4.
You can go to our website at: comfortcaresolutions.org to see our selection of cushions and other pressure relief related options. You can also email us at Care@comfortcaresolution.org
While waiting for a new cushion or mattress topper and even heal protectors for wheel chairs:
Here are a few ways for relief right away with things you have around the house while waiting for your cushion or pressure relieving equipment. This should not be used for long term use.
1. You can roll up two towels and place in the wheel chair or basically any chair placing the thighs on each each roll this will give relief to the buttocks area for short term use.
2. you can use a pillow case to slip over the foot rests of the wheel chair and then raise the foot rest to a 30 degree angle and use a pillow under the ankles leaving room so the heels don't touch the foot rests.
3. you can use sheet and fold it cross ways and lay across the bed where the main part of the torso is and then use that to help roll the person on their side and place pillows under the sheet one towards the upper portions of the torso and the other towards the bottom part of the torso this will relief some of the pressure on the buttocks as well also placing a pillow under the ankles will elevate the pressure on the heels.
I am not a health care provider nor to I pretend to be, all the information is upon personal experience and knowledge I have gained working taking care of folks over the last 28 years. Always check with your own healthcare provider about any of your health conditions or concerns.
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