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How to prevent bedsores from becoming a serious issue

06/16/2009 - News

How to prevent bedsores from becoming a serious issue

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD

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Bedsores can be fatal, but there are ways of avoiding them.

People are rarely still in bed - they toss and turn and this helps distribute the pressure between the mattress and the body. But pressure can build up on specific areas if a person is immobile through illness or injury. The pressure can create a bedsore which is a kind of open wound.

Bedsores can become infected. Then there is a danger of the infection spreading to surrounding skin, deeper tissue and blood. Fluid and protein may be lost which leaves the patient dehydrated and malnourished which, again, endangers their health. According to doctors at Harvard Medical School, it can cost as much as 70,000 dollars to treat a single deep tissue bedsore. Clearly, it is best to avoid bedsores and the experts offer some tips for doing so. Use dynamic or static mattresses and added padding. The patient should shift position regularly. Protein intake should be increased and the skin kept moisturized. These simple steps should go a long way to avoid bedsores from developing.

Source
Harvard Health Letter November 2006

Created on: 10/27/2006
Reviewed on: 06/16/2009

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