Bedsores

Common Name(s)

Bedsores, Pressure sores, Pressure ulcers

Bedsores, also known as pressure sores, are injuries of the skin and tissue that are a result of pressure from staying in one position for too long. They usually occur in people who are in wheelchairs or are bedbound due to an illness. Being in one position creates pressure on these areas, causing less blood flow. Without proper blood flow, these areas do not get enough oxygen and nutrients and can eventually die. There are 4 stages of bedsores. In stage I, the skin is not broken, but it appears red in people with lighter skin or discolored in individuals with darker skin. Stage II is when the outer layer of skin is damaged, and the wound looks like a fluid-filled blister. Stage III is when the loss of skin causes fat to be exposed and the ulcer looks like a crater. In stage IV, the wound may show muscle, bone, or tendons and the bottom of the wound will contain dead yellow tissue.

In addition to pressure, bedsores typically have other factors that play a role in their development, including friction (dragging of skin across another object, such as a bed or wheelchair) and sheer (movement of two tissues in opposite directions). Some risk factors for bedsores usually include difficulty moving, older age, loss of sensation (spinal cord injury), or excessive moisture or dryness in an area of the body. A doctor can typically diagnose bedsores by examining the affected area. Once a bedsore is suspected, blood tests may be ordered to check for general health as well as tissue cultures to look for infections or cancer. Treatment for all bedsores focuses on repositioning the person to decrease the pressure in the affected area. Treatment for stage I and stage II bedsores usually includes care of the wound as well as ongoing general care. Treatment for stage III and stage IV is more difficult and involves cleaning the wound and removing damaged tissue. In severe cases, surgery may be needed.

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Bedsores" returned 8 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Preventing bedsores.
 

Author(s):

Journal: Am Fam Physician. 2008 Nov;78(10):1195-6.

 

Last Updated: 27 Nov 2008

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Formulation design of ointment base suitable for healing of lesions in treatment of bedsores.
 

Author(s): M Shigeyama, O Ohgaya, H Takeuchi, T Hino, Y Kawashima

Journal: Chem. Pharm. Bull.. 2001 Feb;49(2):129-33.

 

We intended to develop a desired ointment base suitable for treatment of bedsores including the proliferation of granulation and epidermis. The main bedsore bacteria detected in our hospital were S. aureus in gram-positive coccus and P. aeruginosa in gram-negative bacillus. As the ...

Last Updated: 16 Feb 2001

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Letter: Granular support in prevention and treatment of bedsores.
 

Author(s): J B Tracey

Journal: Br Med J. 1973 Nov;4(5889):424.

 

Last Updated: 9 Jan 1974

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Bedsores" returned 0 free, full-text review articles on human participants.

 
 
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Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Last Updated: 31 Jan 2017

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Comparison of 2 Mattresses for the Prevention of Bedsores by Measuring Skin Pressure in the Sacral Area
 

Status: Not yet recruiting

Condition Summary: Pressure Ulcer

 

Last Updated: 16 Jun 2017

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Qualitative Study of Preventive Organization of the Pelvic Bedsores Injured Spinal Cord
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Spinal Cord Injuries; Pressure Ulcers

 

Last Updated: 8 Sep 2016

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