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A 31-year-old member asked:

what can be done to reduce pressure on sores?

2 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joshua Batt
Emergency Medicine 9 years experience
Identify heavy spots: Change body position regularly to avoid pressure in the same areas. Use cushioning to distribute the weight evenly and over a broader area thus reducing pressure in one small spot where sores are likely to occur. Elevate points of pressure with pillows, padding or air cushion devices. Common places are the heels, sacrum, hips and shoulder blades. Skin hygiene and proper nutrition are also vital.
Dr. Katherine Brown
Dermatology 16 years experience
Depends: Depends on where it is. For most locations, taking weight off the area and using foam cushions/pads help. For sores on the buttocks, air mattresses, frequent turning (when in bed), lying on side, donut pillows, etc. Can help. Reducing pressure is the key to preventing and treating pressure sores.

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A 21-year-old member asked:

Why is it so hard to treat pressure sores?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Aletha Tippett
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Lack of education: Pressure sores aren't hard to treat, but people can suffer for years with them because the true cause of the problem isn't addressed. If pressure & shear (sliding) are removed and appropriate wound dressings are in place, it should heal easily. If a pressure sore is not healing it's because there's still pressure on that area, even if the person is on a special "pressure support" surface.
A 21-year-old member asked:

If my dad is incontinent, is he more likely to develop pressure sores?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Scott Bolhack
Wound care 35 years experience
Incontinence bedsore: Patients that are incontinent of urine and/or stool can be prone to more frequent incidences of skin breakdown. Moisture associated skin damage (masd) is now an accepted concept for wound care professionals. If you think of skin as bricks (the skin cells) and mortar (the stuff in-between), the moisture weakens the mortar portion allowing for increased chances of pressure causing harm.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Do you only get pressure sores from lying in bed?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Scott Bolhack
Wound care 35 years experience
Pressure Sores: There are many other causes of pressure injuries in addition to those caused by lying in bed. Obese patients can develop pressure sores under their abdominal folds (pannus) for example. Medical devices cause pressure ulcers often also: oxygen tubing around ears, prosthetics that do not fit well, irritation from casts, are several examples. Remember, there are many risk factors for pressure injury.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Why do pressure sores sometimes smell bad?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Latisha Smith
Wound care 38 years experience
Bacteria & necrosis: Pressure ulcers are the physical result of injury to the skin. When the injury progresses to an open sore, the sore will be invaded by bacteria and can become infected. The buildup of bacteria in the wound can cause odor. Also along with bacteria, the injured tissue can rot and this produces odor, similar to leftovers that have spoiled in your refrigerator.
A 21-year-old member asked:

What methods are used to clean pressure sores once they develop?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Latisha Smith
Wound care 38 years experience
Saline or cleansers: Minor ulcers, those without exposed subcutaneous tissue, muscle or bone may be cleaned simply with mild soap and tap water or wound cleanser. Deep ulcer cleansing requires agents the kill bacteria like 1/4 strength white vinegar or dakins, which is a very very weak bleach solution. Normal saline is used to clean the majority of ulcers because soap and iodine are irritating to healing tissue.

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Last updated Sep 28, 2016

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