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Pressure Sores - Risk Factors


Common Risk Factors

Pressure sores are becoming more common in hospitals and nursing homes in the U.S. The contributing factors are multiple and include:

1. Reduced mobility is the most important element in the development of bed sores

2. Incontinence of urine and feces can contribute to pressure sores because they cause skin irritation and damage. Then, the required frequent washing causes irritation and soreness causing further skin breakdown.

3. Medications, such as sedatives and analgesics dcontribute to non-responsiveness, inactivity, lethargy and immobility

4. Circulitory disease, cigarette smoking, etc., are strong predisposing factors.

5. Old Age is another high risk factor for pressure sores.

In addition to the above 'risk factors', I consider the following to present even greater risks to elders: (1) understaffing (2) no training or supervision of staff. (3) failure to change wet clothing quickly, (4) failure to adhere to a repositioning program.

A risk assessment for bed sores should be done by using measurement tool. The most commonly used is the Braden Scale. The Braden Scale scores a patient's level of risk for developing pressure sores.

Proper skin care is essential and must be implemented by using a mild cleansing agent followed by thoroughly rinsing the skin with water.

With today's critical nursing shortage, it is no surprise that there would be an increase in hospital-induced pressure sores given the complexity of this issue.

Pressure sores are increasingly common in hospitalized patients in the United States with a 63% increase from 1993 to 2003.

If you feel that you or your loved one has been injured as a result of nursing home neglect such as bed sores please call 1-617-479-4300 or use our free case evaluation form below:

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