Pressure ulcers can be very serious as any patient prone to them knows. Often excruciatingly painful, treatment often involves pain medication in addition to healing medications. While some pressure ulcers can be more easily treated, later stage pressure ulcers can be more difficult to treat. And though steps can be taken to prevent pressure ulcers, such as repositioning and dietary changes, sometimes they may occur regardless. Treatment can often be extremely complex involving a team of health care professionals to aid a patient. If you or a loved one may be suffering from pressure ulcers, here are some things you should know about the best pressure ulcer treatments.
Top 3 Treatments for Pressure Ulcers
- Sterilizing the Wound
- Removing Tissue
Also a way to prevent further pressure ulcers, repositioning targets the cause of pressure ulcers by reducing the pressure that caused the ulcer in the first place. Repositioning yourself in a bed every couple hours, or repositioning yourself in a wheelchair every fifteen minutes can work wonders. If you need help repositioning yourself, you may consider purchasing a device to help you lift your body, or you may ask someone to help. You may also consider purchasing a more supportive mattress or wheelchair if necessary.
- Reposition yourself in bed every two hours
- Reposition yourself in wheelchair every 15 minutes
- Uses devices or get help if needed
Pressure ulcers can be incredibly painful. Therefore, it may be necessary to take Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen. These can help with inflammation and pain due to ulcers. Topical pain medications may also be an option. Some patients may need to take antibiotics if ulcers do not respond to other treatments. Antibiotics may be oral or topical.
- NSAIDS can help treat pain
- Topical pain medications available
- Antibiotics may be necessary for some patients
Sterilizing the Wound
It’s important in the healing process of pressure ulcers to keep wounds clean. By keeping the wounds clean, you can prevent infections, which will not only worsen symptoms, but will also delay the healing process. Unbroken skin should be washed with a mild soap or cleanser, while broken skin should be washed with saline solution and dressings should be applied. Sterile gauze can be used to keep the would moist for healing, as well as create a barrier against infection. However, other materials such as films, gels or foams may also be used to dress the wound.
- Dress the wound with sterile dressings
- Clean closed wounds with mild soap
- Clean open wounds with saline
Removing tissue that has been damaged is another great way to encourage healing. Dead infected tissue can act as a barrier to the healing process. Removing the tissue can be accomplished in a few different ways. The tissue can be cut away during surgery, or it may be removed mechanically using a low-frequency ultrasound and an irrigation device. Autolytic debridement is a method that uses the body’s natural process of breaking down dead tissue through enzymes. Chemical enzymes can also be used to accomplish this.
- Encourages healing
- Can be done without cutting
- Autolytic debridement enhances natural healing process
Though it may be difficult, there are a number of ways to treat pressure ulcers. What is most important when it comes to the healing process is that the wound be clean and sterile. Pain medication can help those suffering from pressure ulcers deal with the discomfort of the process, and antibiotics may help those who are having difficulties with infection. If you have pressure ulcers or are concerned about them, talk to your doctor about these and other possible ways to treat them.