Decubitus Ulcer

What is a Decubitus Ulcer?

Decubitus ulcers, also known as pressure ulcers or bedsores, are areas of localized skin inflammation and tissue damage. They occur when the skin and underlying tissue are subjected to prolonged high pressure, often caused by lying or sitting in one position for too long. Without proper treatment, decubitus ulcers can lead to infection, pain, and even death.

Symptoms of Decubitus Ulcer

The most common symptom of a decubitus ulcer is a skin lesion that appears red and inflamed. This can be accompanied by swelling, warmth to the touch, pain, discharge from the wound, and in severe cases, necrosis (tissue death). Other symptoms may include dry and flaky skin around the ulcer, as well as a distinct odor.

Risk Factors for Decubitus Ulcer

Decubitus Ulcers are especially common among people who are bedridden or wheelchair-bound. Other risk factors include:

  • Lack of mobility
  • Lack of exercise
  • Obesity
  • Poor nutrition
  • Urinary or fecal incontinence
  • Certain medical conditions (diabetes, cardiovascular disease)

Treatment of Decubitus Ulcer

Treating a decubitus ulcer typically involves wound cleaning and debridement (removing damaged tissue from the wound), as well as using dressings and topical medications to reduce inflammation and facilitate healing. In some severe cases, skin grafts may be necessary. Additionally, pressure-relieving mattresses, cushions, and other devices may help prevent further injury to the skin.

Preventing Decubitus Ulcer

The risk of developing decubitus ulcers can be reduced by ensuring that the patient gets adequate exercise, nutrition, and hydration. Turning the patient regularly is also important in order to relieve pressure on the skin. Additionally, using a pressure-relieving mattress, cushion, or device may help reduce the risk of decubitus ulcers.