Causes of Bed Sores

November 12, 2012

Causes of Bed Sores

Bed sores have a number of causes that go far beyond what you think about the elderly and neglect. This can be caused by medications and humidity but there are more.

Have you every seen bed sores? Would you recognize them if you did? Well, bed sores are often called pressure ulcers and basically are lesions of the skin that can be caused by scraping of the skin due to movement, high moisture content in the air or clothing one is wearing, changes in temperature, incontinence, various pharmaceuticals and any prolonged pressure particularly with someone bed ridden. Bed sores can be found just about anywhere on your body but quite often they can be observed around the elbow regions, knees, ankles and lower back. Your lower back has a large surface of bone that stays in contact with surfaces for long periods of time particularly if you are in a reclined position.

If you have someone who is bedridden and or taking medication, it is a good idea to keep an eye on any skin lesions that might occur. Bed sores are easily treatable but early detection helps. However, bed sores are not to be taken lightly as it is possible when left unchecked for them to become deadly. Believe it or not it is reported in the United States and England to be the second cause of death when a patient experiences bad reactions to medication that they have been given.. Bear in mind, this form of bed sores is not from neglect but rather medical treatment. The medical term for this is called iatrogenic complications. Simply means there was a medical cause whether, drug or something done by a doctor.

Back in the early nineteenth century it was realized that bed sores need not occur simply by taking patients who were bed ridden and turning them every few hours to relieve undue pressure to certain areas of the body. This improved the life expectancy of many hospital patients at the time and is a time honored practice today. It’s amazing that something so simple could save so many lives.

Different Types of Bed Sores

There are two general classifications for bed sores. One is known as a decubitus ulcer. This is known as ulcers that are generally found around areas that are very boney and occurs with individuals that can’t move on their own. This pressure particularly along the lower back tends to cut off blood circulation so that the underlying tissue doesn’t receive proper oxygen and air circulation.

Another form is called acute decubitus ulcer and is the most debilitating form of all. This form of ulcer or bed sore develops due to nervous system failure. This tends to be a problem with individuals who are paralleled. An example of this would be someone who is a paraplegic. In this case there may be more than nerve damage but damage to the underlying tissue such as muscle. This tends to become progressive and needs to be monitored at all times.

Individuals who are at great risk of developing bed sores are those that are extremely over weight and are quite often diabetic. This occurs in more advanced diabetes when the patient is probably unaware that they are diabetic.


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