When bedsores develop, early detection is crucial. When a stage I sore develops (before the skin is broken), it should be cleaned gently and covered with an occlusive dressing (a water-tight bandage) to protect it from infection and keep it moist. The dressing will also help provide padding and prevent further skin breakdown.
If the bedsore has progressed to the point where the skin has died, a doctor will have to remove the dead tissue. This is called debridement.
Bedsores can also be treated with negative pressure therapy (also called vacuum-assisted closure). This treatment uses a device which provides suction to clean the bedsore.
The most serious bedsores can require surgery to cover the unhealed bedsore with a flap of healthy skin, muscle, or other tissue from elsewhere in the body. This is called a flap reconstruction.
Infection is a major risk for people with bedsores. Treatment for bedsores may include antibiotics, taken by mouth or intravenously, to fight infection and prevent life-threatening sepsis.
Comfort care is also crucial for people with bedsores. Bedsores can be extremely painful. Good pain management is a very important part of treating bedsores.
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“Bedsores (Pressure Ulcers).” April 25, 2017. The Mayo Clinic.Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bed-sores/home/ovc-20315615