An easily avoidable problem, bedsores are very painful and can lead to deadly infections. Bedsores develop on bodies that are not mobile; patients with paralysis, stupor, or comas are susceptible. The weight of a still body presses against the skin; unlike with larger internal arteries, when arteries in fat, muscle, and skin subdivide into capillaries, there’s not a lot of blood pressure to move the blood, and its toxins around. Normal blood pressure is around 120/80. Blood pressure reduces to 20 to 25 millimeters of mercury in immobile areas of the body; after 2 hours the skin becomes red and irritated.
Not long after this, irreversible changes start to happen in the skin; gangrene (the medical term is necrosis) sets in, permanently killing skin tissue. With continued immobility, fat and muscle tissue under the area will die off, and bones may become exposed. Because bedsores are open, weeping wounds, bacteria can easily contaminate them; this infection leads to more destruction of the flesh, and, if untreated, sepsis (bloodstream infection), which is fatal.
But bedsores can be prevented with several actions, and treated if they do develop. A standard nursing practice calls for immobile patients to be turned frequently, usually once an hour. Extra foam and gel padding are other techniques to alleviate pressure on immobile patients; these aides can decrease pressure against the body to 80 to 100 millimeters of mercury. A special air flotation mattress bed will also stave off bedsores; these can be rented anywhere with a doctor’s order, and are usually enlisted if turning alone is not sufficient. At the first sign of bedsore, the patient’s physician should be alerted, to prescribe topical wound care. and, if necessary, to order a special air flotation bed. Immobile patients, whether they are elderly, disabled, or very ill, are vulnerable to lots of additional health problems when they enter a hospital or nursing home (not least of all, colds, flu, and other viruses); bedsores are still, unfortunately, a major problem for immobile people relying on others for care.
If you or someone you care for has suffered an injury as a result of negligence, you have options. Contact Mike Agruss Law, at 312-224-4695 for a free consultation. We are a Chicago injury law firm representing individuals and families who have suffered an injury or loss due to an accident. Mike Agruss Law, will handle your personal injury case quickly, will advise you every step of the way, and will not hesitate to go to trial for you.
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