Complications arising from pressure ulcers

23/11/2015 11:06:20

Preventing pressure ulcers before they occur is the goal of healthcare professionals. This blog post discusses what happens if a pressure ulcer does occur....
 
Around half of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers are avoidable¹.
 
But what can happen if you get a pressure ulcer?
 
Cellulitis
This is where infection from the site of the pressure ulcer can spread to a deeper layer of skin. Symptoms include pain and redness, plus swelling of the skin, and can be treated with antibiotics.
Left untreated, there is a risk that the infection can spread to the blood or the underlying bone or joint, and in rare cases, develop into meningitis.
 
Blood poisoning
If a person with a weak immune system has a pressure ulcer that becomes infected, there is a risk that the infection will spread into their blood and other organs. 
Symptoms include cold skin and an increased heart beat. In the most serious cases of blood poisoning, damage to multiple organs can lead to septic shock, which is a big drop in blood pressure and can be fatal. 
 
Bone and joint infection
Infection can also spread from a pressure ulcer into underlying joints (septic arthritis) and bones (osteomyelitis).
Both of these infections can damage the cartilage, tissue and bone. They may also affect the joints and limbs, and in the most severe cases amputation may be necessary to remove the infection.
 
Necrotising fasciitis
Commonly known as "flesh-eating" bacteria, necrotising fasciitis is a serious skin infection that causes rapid tissue death. It can occur when a pressure ulcer becomes infected with a particular type of bacteria, and emergency treatment is required to remove the dead tissue.
 
Gas gangrene
Gas gangrene is a rare but serious infection that occurs when a pressure ulcer becomes infected with the clostridium bacteria. The bacteria thrive in environments where there is little or no oxygen, where they produce gases and release dangerous toxins. In the most serious of cases, it may be necessary to amputate the affected body part to prevent the gangrene from spreading.
 
 
Choosing a mattress cover with Dartex fabric helps to care for vulnerable skin contact areas and helps to prevent avoidable pressure ulcers.
 
Contact our team for more information: enquiries@dartexcoatings.com 
 
Source: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Pressure-ulcers/Pages/Complications.aspx
 
¹ http://www.wounds-uk.com/journal-articles/are-95-of-hospital-acquired-pressure-ulcers-avoidable
 
 




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