Causes of Decubitus Ulcers
The causes of decubitis ulcers affect those persons who are bedridden, unconscious, unable to feel pain or sensation, and those who are immobile for an extended period of time, such as those in a cast or confined to a wheel chair or bed. Decubitis ulcers, commonly known as bed sores or pressure sores, develop when a person's blood supply to the skin is cut off for more than two hours or so. The skin near bone and cartilage areas, such as the spine, knees, ankles, back, hips, and tailbone, are most vulnerable to the causes of decubitis ulcers because of prolonged pressure to these regions.
The causes of decubitis ulcers are many. Malnutrition is often a precursor to decubitis vulnerability. Patients who are susceptible to decubitis ulcers should receive adequate nutrition that is high in protein, vitamins and minerals. Patients who are under weight or suffer malnutrition are more vulnerable to the causes of decubitis ulcers.
Another of the major causes of decubitis ulcers is improper or inadequate skin care and skin monitoring. When a person is in a wheel chair or bed ridden their skin must be checked frequently for the early signs of decubitis ulcers. Skin must be kept dry, clean, moisturized and free from irritating chemicals. Skin care causes of decubitis ulcers are made worse in the presence of sweat, feces, urine, and other sources of moisture and potential disease spreading materials. Patients who are incontinent are at a greater risk of suffering the causes of decubitis ulcers and complications like infection.
Shearing and friction are also causes of decubitis ulcers. When a patient who is bed ridden is dragged or slid from bed they can suffer from bed sore injuries. Failure to move or reposition a patient frequently is also another of the major causes of decubitis ulcers. In order to mitigate these causes of decubitis ulcers, it is important that patients in wheelchairs or those who are bedridden be repositioned often and carefully to avoid shearing and friction. Soft bedding and pressure release equipment can also help reduce the major causes of decubitis ulcers.
Another of the major causes of decubitis ulcers is lack of movement and exercise. In some patients it is difficult or impossible to get up and move around, but there are ways to keep a patient's skin, muscles, and joints active in order to reduce atrophy and deterioration. Physical therapy is a great deterrent of the causes of decubitis ulcers. Activities which increase blood circulation, such as massage and other techniques, can also reduce the causes of decubitis ulcers.
Nursing home abuse and neglect are often the causes of decubitis ulcers. When a nursing home facility provides a sub-standard level of care by neglecting the causes of decubitis ulcers, or failing to prevent them, patients can suffer serious and life threatening injuries. At least 60,000 people die from the complications and causes of decubitis ulcers each year in the United States. People who are vulnerable to the causes of decubitis ulcers must be frequently monitored and adequately cared for in order to avoid serious injury.
If you or someone you love has suffered from decubitus ulcers, contact us for more information on the causes.