Injured Senior Podcast
Martha Kelso, Wound Care + CEO Discusses Bedsores and Pressure Ulcers
Steve and Martha Discuss:
1. What is a pressure ulcer or bedsore?
- “All bedsores are pressure ulcers but not all pressure ulcers are bedsores.”
- Many of these types of wounds develop from the inside out; the factors contributing to tissue breakdown go further than simply laying in the same position for too long.
2. How serious can a bedsore be?
- A bedsore can become very serious if not treated properly and can lead to as serious of a health condition as sepsis or death.
3. Do the senior and elderly come along with comorbidities which make them more susceptible to bedsores and pressure ulcers?
- Yes, usually there is more than one health or dietary issue contributing to the tissue breakdown, medications can also make someone more susceptible to getting bedsores or pressure ulcers. Some health issues that can make a senior more likely to get a bedsore are smoking, diabetes, thyroid issues, etc.
4. In nursing home and assisted living facility settings is it a fair assumption to say you’ll see a lot of bedsores and/or pressure wounds?
- Yes, but it also has to be acknowledged that these populations are more susceptible to these types of wounds in the first place and possibly that these types of wounds are inevitable at some point in their stay/housing time.
5. What would be protocols these facilities should have in place to deal with these issues?
- Utilize the staff members that you don’t usually use to provide overall healthcare such as the pharmacology doctor or the dieticians on staff for preventative care. Keeping track of nutrition plans and minor wounds as they occur will also help prevent major sores. Further, having protocols for when new patients enter to ensure they do not already have wounds that require care from the beginning.
6. Are we taking for granted that nursing homes and facilities are doing everything they need to for wound care?
- We assume that doctors and nurses learn about wound care in school but they often do not and many of the treatments recommended now are very outdated.
7. What can families and loved ones do to advocate or help if their loved one has a sore/wound that requires care?
- Ask for updates on wound care including pictures and reports when a loved one has such an issue, don’t be afraid to look at the wound yourself, and don’t be afraid to advocate and ask questions.
- Pressure ulcers and bedsores are not simply from laying in the same position for too long; there are many other contributing factors to the breakdown of tissue and subsequent wounds.
- There are also many strategies to treat and prevent these types of wounds from developing for at risk individuals.
Martha’s Kelso’s checklist “Comprehensive Alternative Risk Factor Form”
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