What to do in order to prevent and manage pressure sores?
First of all, what will be the largest organ of our human body?
The answer will be definitely the SKIN as the largest organ in general, followed by the liver as internal largest organ.
The skin also known as the fastest growing organ in our body, it carry a huge roles in protecting human body from any external harm. What will happen if one day when we get old, the largest organ are injured?
HOW COMMAN CAN AN ELDERLY ARISE WITH PRESSURE SORES ISSUE?
Pressure sores are wounds caused by unrelieved pressure on the skin, especially over bony prominences, such as the elbow, heel, hip, shoulder, back, and back of the head.
The unrelieved pressure prevents blood from getting to your skin so the skin dies. Normally the nerves send messages of pain or feelings of discomfort to your brain to let you know that you need to change position, but few elderly with high immobility, recent weight loss, bowel &bladder incontinence, disease related to brain/spinal cord damages (stroke) tends to keeps these messages from reaching your brain.
Pressure sores can occur:
- When someone sit or lie in one position too long.
- Shearing is also a kind of pressure injury. It happens when the skin moves one way and the bone underneath it moves another way. An example of this is if you slouch when you sit.
- Abrasion injury, can occur when pulling yourself across a surface instead of lifting. This is an example of a friction injury.
- Short exposure to high pressure, such as a bump or fall, may cause damage to the skin which may not show up right away.
WHAT TO DO IN ORDER TO PREVENT AND MANAGE PRESSURE SORES?
OBSERVE AND RECOGNIZE ELDERLY’S SKIN IF:
- Skin is not broken but is red or discoloured
- Skin redness or change in colour does not fade within 30 minutes after pressure is removed.
- The epidermis or topmost layer of the skin is broken, creating a shallow open sore (wound noted).
- Drainage may or may not be present over the wound.
- Get immediate care if you notice signs of infection (fever, spreading redness, swelling, or pus).
PRACTICE EFFECTIVE SKIN CARE FOR ELDERLY:
- If the skin is not broken, gently wash the area with a mild soap and water.
- Clean open sores on the skin with salt water (saline, which can be made by boiling water with 1 teaspoon of salt for 5 minutes and kept cooled in a sterile container).
- Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly/body lotion/moisturizer and then cover with a soft gauze dressing (to protect wound from body fluid).
- Be sure to keep urine and stool away from affected areas.
WAY TO RELEIVE PRESSURE AGAINST SKIN:
- Change positions often (every 15 minutes in a chair and every 2 hours in a bed).
- Use special soft materials or supports (pads, cushions, and ripple mattresses) to reduce pressure against the skin
GOOD DIET INTAKE FOR BETTER SKIN HEALING:
- Taking in enough vitamin C and zinc, which are available as supplements.