Pressure sores or bed sores can be a significant problem for patients who are on bed rest for extended periods of time. These sores are not merely unpleasant and uncomfortable for patients, but they can often also create worrisome complications if they lead to infections in the skin. The risk of a patient experiencing complications because of pressure sores can be minimized if the following six mistakes are avoided.
Keeping the skin too moist
Moist skin is more susceptible to developing pressure sores. This is because skin that is too hydrated can experience maceration. This is a scenario where the skin loses some of its resistance to pressure so that it is more susceptible to sore development and damage.
Patients need to be bathed frequently enough to manage moisture in the skin. Excessive amounts of moisturizer shouldn't be applied to a patient's skin if that patient is at risk of pressure sore development.
Staying in the same position all the time
If patients do not change up their sleeping or resting positions now and then, pressure will be constantly put on the same areas.
Patients should be told to reposition themselves on a regular basis. They should not limit themselves to sleeping on their back or side only. Rather, they should develop a system for rotating their sleeping position to minimize the overall pressure placed on their individual body parts.
Failing to use an appropriate mattress
Certain mattresses and bedding options can help to minimize pressure sore problems. A pressure sore treatment rotation mattress can be effective at naturally encouraging movement and repositioning while the patient sleeps.
Also, using breathable bedding that won't easily become dampened by sweat can prevent moisture from being kept up against the skin so that pressure sore development is aggravated and accelerated. Bedding should be frequently washed and replaced to keep the resting surface dry and clean.
Completely lacking exercise
Patients on bed rest may not be able to move around too well. However, it's always a good idea for patients to get up and move around a little if at all possible. When patients move around and lift their body off of the mattress, the pressure against their skin is relieved for a time.
Failing to manage incontinence well
Patients on bed rest are often elderly, and elderly patients are more likely to be dealing with incontinence issues. It's important that a patient's incontinence briefs are changed promptly when necessary to avoid having moisture up against the skin for extended periods of time.
Not providing more cushioning to problem areas
Areas of the body where pressure sores are most likely to develop include the shoulders, elbows, tailbone, and heels. Keeping these areas thoroughly cushioned with extra pillows can avoid pressure and decrease the chances of sore development.