Pressure ulcers also referred to as "bedsores" are localized skin injuries of underlying tissue occur on the bony prominences of specific regions in the body such as the coccyx, hips, heels and the sacrum (Reddy 2011, 6). Other sites where the sore occur include the ankles,…
2006, 472). There are four stages of pressure ulcer occurrence from stage I to stage IV. Stage I involves an intact skin where an ulceration results that indicates a reactive hyperemia. Stage II involves partial skin loss of the dermis and epidermis while stage III entails full thickness skin loss with extension into the subcutaneous tissue. Stage IV entails a full thickness of tissue loss with extension in to adjacent muscles, bones, tendons and joint capsule (Lyder & Ayello 2005, 281).
Pressure ulcers develop in risk prone individuals i.e. those who are immobile especially the sick and elderly patients confined to wheelchairs. However, a number of factors influence the tolerance of the skin, the shear and pressure effect thus increases the risk of pressure ulcer development. These factors include protein calorie malnutrition, wetness of the skin as a result of incontinence or sweating and medical conditions limiting blood flow to the skin such as paralysis or neuropathy (Reddy et al. 2006, 977).They are preventable skin conditions, but their rate of occurrence continue to escalate yet at an increasing alarming rate. Between the period of 1995 and 2008 pressure ulcers incidence increased by 80 percent, and the rate is not expected to decline due to poor patient’s acre in the nursing homes and hospitals (Bennett et al. 2004, 230). About 2.5 million patients develop pressure ulcer each year in the United States, while more than a million patients remain affected annually (White-Chu et al. 2011, 245). The rate is expected to increase due to the increase of the population at risk i.e. the obese, elderly, diabetic patients (Bader, 2005, 25). Therefore, addressing and preventing the condition is of utmost importance to the public, as it will prevent patients from further harm and reduce the cost of care (Clay, 2008, 12). Pressure ulcers occurrence ...
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