Pressure ulcer treatment (also called pressure sore) requires great care and planning in order to heal completely.
A pressure ulcer or pressure sore can be successfully treated and healed. Also known as a bed sore, pressure ulcers are common in spinal cord injury patients, patients with advanced dementia and coma patients. Because they lack sensation, quadriplegics and paraplegics can’t feel when it’s time to reposition themselves to encourage normal blood flow.
Repositioning is something most of us do unconsciously throughout the day and night to increase the circulation around our sitting and reclining contact pressure points: the backs of our feet and legs, lower back, buttocks and shoulders. Lengthy pressure on these contact points, sometimes for as little as 30 minutes to two hours, causes blood flow to be cut off from the area. As a result, muscles, soft tissue, tendons and skin cells begin to die and the patient develops a pressure sore or open wound.
With the pressure ulcer comes the increased possibility of infection which further complicates the healing process. When the tissue death and infection become advanced, it is typically referred to as “gangrene.” Infections and pressure sores are treated in our outpatient office successfully, sometimes with oral antibiotics and sometimes with I.V. antibiotics.
Dementia and Pressure Sores
Pressure sores can also develop in patients suffering from certain brain disorders and dementia. In these cases, the brain is unable to make the connection between feeling the discomfort of staying in a position for two long and making a position adjustment to alleviate the pressure. Treatment for Pressure Sores
Pressure sore treatment is available here at our outpatient office, conveniently located in The Lakes Building in West Bloomfield, Michigan. At Encompass HealthCare and Wound Medicine, we use a variety of modalities depending on severity, longevity and the other underlying conditions that are keeping the sores from healing. These underlying conditions include infection, co-morbidities such as diabetes, malnutrition and a compromised immune system.
Offloading may be the most important factor to consider in treatment for pressure sores. It’s also the biggest challenge because it involves extreme scrutiny and diligence to make sure the patient is moved periodically to stimulate circulation and keep direct pressure off the wound.
Patients can make use of special beds that automatically inflate and deflate to alternatively take pressure off various parts of the body. Additionally, special offloading pillows are available for wheelchairs that perform the same function.
At Encompass Healthcare, we provide hospital-level technologies and treatments for pressure sores including all forms of debridement, lymphedema management, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, IV antibiotics, skin substitutes, skin grafts and surgical flaps.
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