Patients can feel overwhelmed by the prospect of a hospital stay for numerous reasons. From the ensuing medical debt to the potential for a painful rehab, a lengthy stay in a healthcare facility generally represents stress and worry on multiple levels. Unfortunately, many patients also struggle with developing painful bedsores while under the care of a medical staff.
The development of bedsores is a painful condition that is easily avoidable by an attentive medical staff. Also called pressure sores or pressure ulcers, these injuries form when certain parts of the body are under pressure against a surface for an extended period of time. Whether this is lying prone in a hospital bed or sitting in a wheelchair, remaining in the same position for multiple hours can cut off circulation to the affected region. Certain portions of the body are more prone to bedsores and can include the buttocks, shoulder blades, back of the head and heels of the feet. The hospital staff must ensure the patient is properly hydrated and regularly moved to prevent these pressure sores.
Are there different levels of severity?
Bedsores typically present a worsening condition if not caught and treated immediately. Without immediate care and attention, bedsores generally progress through four stages of increasing severity. While stage one might be typified by a red area that is painful to the touch, stage four can mean severe damage to muscles, tendons and bones with increasing risk of infection.
Many people automatically equate bedsores with nursing home residents or elderly long term care patients. While these individuals are more prone to the condition, bedsores are a danger to anyone facing a lengthy hospital stay. The negligence or inattention of a hospital staff can quickly lead to this serious, painful condition.