Managing Progressing Bedsores in a Maryland Nursing Home

When the skin of a nursing home patient rubs against a hard surface for an extended period of time, they can develop bedsores. Bedsores, known in the medical community as pressure ulcers, can be painful, difficult to treat, and in the worst cases, deadly. If left untreated, patients with bedsores can suffer from skin cancer, sepsis, or permanent tissue and muscle damage.

Bedsores are placed in one of four stages depending on their severity, and in most cases, stage one and two bedsores are far easier to manage than stage three and four sores. Treatments ranging from the washing of the skin to complex surgeries are often used to treat bedsores.

Managing progressing bedsores in a Maryland nursing home is not always simple, but it must be done to keep patients healthy.

Stage I Bedsores

Stage one bedsores are the easiest to treat, primarily because they are the mildest form of bedsores. Patients with stage one bedsores may notice symptoms such as pain, redness, or itching in the afflicted area, but there is rarely broken skin. Stage one sores affect the upper layer of the skin, and they may be treated by washing the impacted area with soap and warm water. Once this is done, the sore should be bandaged to prevent infections and excess moisture from hampering the healing process.

Stage II Bedsores

Stage two bedsores are slightly more severe than stage one bedsores, and patients with stage two sores may notice redness, pain, broken skin, and pus drainage. The area around the sore may feel warmer or cooler to the touch, primarily because the area has been deprived of adequate blood flow. Swelling is also common.

To treat stage two sores, medical professionals may wash the sore and surrounding area with a saline solution to kill germs and prevent future infections. A see-through dressing or gauze is usually applied to prevent moisture from seeping into the wound and compromising healing.

Stage III Bedsores

Once a bedsore penetrates the second layer of skin and fatty tissue, a crater like wound may appear on the surface of the skin. This is typical of a stage three bedsore, which is often accompanied by a strange odor, pus drainage, redness, swelling, and sometimes, dead, black tissue. Patients suffering from stage three sores must seek medical treatment immediately.

When managing progressing bedsores in a Maryland nursing home, physicians may prescribe antibiotics to fight potential infections. The physician may also remove any dead tissue and prescribe pain relievers such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen sodium to reduce swelling and pain.

Stage IV Bedsores

Stage four bedsores require extensive medical treatment. These sores penetrate the skin down to the ligaments and muscles, and they are often large and deep. Some patients may even be able to see their bones or tendons. Stage four sores often require surgery to remove dead skin, seal up the sore, and repair broken tissue, bone, and muscles. After surgery, antibiotics and strong pain-relievers are often prescribed. Even with treatment, these sores can take months, and sometimes, years to heal.

Learn Ways of Managing Progressing Bedsores in a Maryland Nursing Home

Nursing homes and medical professionals have numerous ways of managing progressing bedsores in a Maryland nursing home. Stage one and two bedsores can progress into stage three and four bedsores if they are not promptly treated, and stage four bedsores can cause a myriad of serious medical conditions and complications if they go untreated.

Nursing homes should be aware of the threat posed by bedsores, and take simple precautions by helping mobility-impaired patients move occasionally. Reach out to a doctor or nurse to learn more about bedsore management.