Post by lara on Jul 6, 2013 1:30:54 GMT -8
What are pressure ulcers?
The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel defines a pressure ulcer as “a localized area of tissue necrosis that tends to develop when soft tissue is compressed between a bony prominence and an external surface for a prolonged period of time." More simply put, tissue death results when the soft tissue gets squeezed between a firm spot and something external to your body. The area of damage is the pressure ulcer or sore.
How common are pressure ulcers?
It is challenging to pinpoint the precise likelihood of developing pressure ulcers. About one-third of people with new spinal cord injuries develop pressure ulcers during their initial hospitalization.
Why are we so concerned about pressure ulcers?
Pressure sores are a common cause of hospitalization. Once they go home after rehab, most folks with an SCI never want to be in a hospital again. But 39% of people rehospitalized in the first year after their SCI are admitted for pressure ulcers. And about one-third, or 34% of people with an SCI end up requiring three or more hospitalizations throughout the rest of their lifetime for treatment of pressure sores. If you want to stay out of the hospital, you definitely want to prevent a pressure sore.
Increased care needs—decreased independence
Having a pressure sore means you are likely to need more help with your personal care. You may go from being mostly or completely independent with your care to suddenly needing a lot of help and losing your independence if you get a pressure ulcer.
About 25% of the total lifetime cost of medical care for a person with SCI is related to pressure sores. Unfortunately, SCI is an expensive situation to be in, and we all want to reduce that cost as much as possible.
Perhaps most important of all, pressure sores can really change your life and have multiple negative consequences, including loss of income because you’re on bed rest and can’t go to work; increased care costs; the negative health effects of prolonged bed rest and inactivity; and loss of your usual activities and sources of life satisfaction. There’s a lot of personal suffering with dealing with a chronic sore, and it certainly can contribute to depression.
About 7–8% of deaths in the SCI population are related to a pressure sore. These deaths most likely result from sepsis, an infection that spreads throughout the body in the blood and tissues.