Over the years, nursing homes patients haven't been given the attention that they need. Because elders are so vulnerable and they require a lot of attention, this type of treatment has been labeled as nursing home abuse. One of the signs of ongoing abuse and neglect include decubitus ulcers also known as "bed sores. These types of sores are created when excessive pressure is applied to a certain area. They can range from a mild pink coloration of the skin, which disappears in a few hours after pressure is relieved from the area, to a very deep wound extending to and sometimes through a bone into internal organs. Although these are some of the first signs of nursing home abuse, skin burns are another sign of abuse. A burn is a harmful injury that damages and destroys skin layers. They usually result from simple scalds to chemical injury. Decubitus ulcers, as well as skin burns are classified in stages according to the severity of the wound.
About 23 percent of people in skilled care and nursing home facilities and 11 percent in acute care settings have decubitus ulcers. In high-risk patients, including elderly individuals with femoral fractures, the incidence and prevalence is over 60 percent. Risk factors for pressure ulcers include immobility or restricted mobility, loss of bowel or bladder control, poor nutrition, and impaired mental awareness. For example, 65 percent of elderly patients hospitalized
A stage 1 decubitus ulcer is an observable pressure related alteration of intact skin whose indicators, as compared to an adjacent or opposite area on the body, may include changes in one or more of the following: warm or cool skin temperature, firm or boggy feel of tissue consistency and a painful sensation. It is generally characterized by a surface reddening of the skin. The skin is unbroken and the wound is superficial.
Treatment of a stage 1 decubitus ulcers consists of relieving pressure form the infected area and then covering, protecting, and cushioning the area as best as possible. Increased nutrition is also a part of prevention at this stage. An increase in vitamin C, proteins, and fluids is recommended.
A stage 2 or Partial Thickness decubitus ulcer is a partial thickness skin loss involving epidermis, dermis, or both. This stage presents clinically as a shallow crater, blister, abrasion, or skin tear. The blister can be either broken or unbroken.
The primary goal of treatment in this case is to cover, protect, and clean the...