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Ulcer, Pressure

Ulcer, Pressure Causes

Pressure ulcers result from sustained pressure on the body particularly in immobile persons due to paralysis. Blood flow has been restricted in areas in which the skin and the underlying tissues have become trapped between bone and a surface such as a wheelchair or bed. This results in the deprivation of oxygen and other nutrients in the area causing irreversible damage and tissue death. The condition may also be caused by friction and shear.

Ulcer, Pressure Definition

Pressure ulcer or bedsores are the areas of damaged skin and tissue due to sustained pressure.

Ulcer, Pressure Diagnosis

The condition is easily identified during the early stages. Nonetheless, the doctor orders a blood tests to check for the patient's nutritional status and overall health. The doctor may also recommend urine analysis and culture, and biopsy.

Ulcer, Pressure Symptoms and Signs

The condition is categorized based on severity. At stage I a pressure sore appears as a persistent area of red skin that may itch or hurt and feel warm and spongy or firm to the touch. At stage II, some skin loss may have already occurred. At stage III the damage has extended to the tissue below the skin that creates a deep, crater-like wound. Stage IV is the most serious in which the wounds are difficult to heal and may lead to lethal infection.

Ulcer, Pressure Treatment

The condition is primarily treated by reducing the pressure through frequent change of position, using support surfaces, cleaning, removal of damaged tissue, application of dressings, hydrotherapy, and a healthy diet. The condition may also require surgery to improve the hygiene and appearance of the sore, prevent or treat infection, reduce fluid loss through the wound, and lower the risk of future cancer.

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