It is important to take a couple of minutes about the different stages of bed sores and some of the things that nursing homes can do to help prevent them.
First of all, bed sores are categorized into four stages. They go from stage one through stage four. Now stage one is generally just a reddened area which forms on what’s called bony prominences, which is a part of the body where bones are closest to the skin where bed sores are most likely to form. So, a stage one is sort of a reddened are, often times it comes on the lower back, on the buttock, sometimes on the upper back or the back of the bed. Areas of the body that are just laying on the bed where most of the weight from one’s body is. So, stage one just being that reddened area is just the initial stages of a bed sore.
Now stage two is when there begins to be some break down of the skin. Often times it looks like a blister or it might look like a very badly scraped knee, where the skin is beginning to break but it hasn’t gone beneath the flesh just yet, and that’s a stage two bed sore.
Stage three is a little more severe. It goes deeper; some of the tissue and the fat that’s above the muscle begins to deteriorate. It’s quite gruesome to look at by the time it gets to s stage three because you start too see sort of a hole in the person’s flesh.
And then a stage four is the most severe of bed sores, where the fat and the tissue had been deteriorated, muscle has been deteriorated. Often times a stage four bed sore can be so deep that you can stick your fist or stick your hand right into it. Sometimes you can see the bone because all of the flesh has totally been deteriorated. That’s a stage four -the most severe of all bed sores.
Now, there are many things that nursing homes should be doing to treat and to prevent bed sores. In fact, there are state and federal regulations and guidelines that dictate some of the thing that nursing homes must be doing, not only to treat them but to prevent them. Some of the treatments that are most common depending on the stage and how severe the bed sore is, some of the treatments include, ointments and lotions that can be used to help treat and prevent infections and reduce the size of bed sores. For the more severe bed sores, sometimes there’s a type of vacuum that’s used to just help remove all of the infected tissue. Necrotic tissue and slough are the technical terms for it. And that vacuum sort of removes that infected portion of the wound so that it has a chance of healing.
Now while those treatments as sometimes effective, the most effective treatment out there is prevention. Because any doctor will agree that bed sores are far easier to prevent than they are to treat. Once they form, they’re much harder to treat and get rid of then prevent from happening in the first place.
So, if you have a loved one in a nursing home, it’s important that you make sure the nursing home is doing everything they can to prevent bed sores from forming. Some of those things involve one is on what’s called a turning and positioning schedule, where they turn the resident from their back to their side to another side every two hours to make sure they don’t spend the whole day in one position. In addition to that, there are preventive creams and other things like that they should be using. So ask the nursing home what they’re doing to prevent your loved one from developing bed sores.