As you probably already know, pressure sores occur as the result of sustained pressure against the skin that restricts blood flow to the area. They're common for people in wheelchairs due to sitting in the same position for long periods of time; they're also found frequently in bedridden patients for the same reason. Due to the nature of pressure sores, they can take longer than a normal would to heal – anywhere between several weeks and several months. The better you care for them, the more quickly and safely they will heal, and the less likely they will be to re-open.
Start by Relieving Pressure
If you relieve pressure in your patient frequently, you'll be able to lessen the chances of him or her suffering from pressure sores, but it's not always easy or possible. One way to relieve pressure is to reposition the patient frequently. People in wheelchairs should shift their position every hour, while people in beds should be repositioned every two hours. Try using special cushioning to reduce the pressure as well.
Have Tissue Removed
Removing damaged and/or dead tissue is important in the wound healing process. In a hospital environment, this can be done surgically or mechanically, such as with a whirlpool device. You can also encourage the body to do it naturally by using special wound dressings and chemical enzymes that are made to encourage the breakdown of dead tissues.
Clean and Dress the Wound Regularly
To avoid infection and ensure that the wound heals properly, it's imperative to keep it clean. This can be done simply by using warm water and mild soap, or a saline solution for open wounds. Do this every time you change the dressing.
Dressings help to protect the wound from outside contaminants, keep the wound moist and keep the surrounding skin dry. There are many different types of dressings, such as foams, gauzes, gels, and dressings to fit specific body parts, such as the Mepilex border sacrum dressing specifically for the tailbone area. Do your research and ensure you're getting the right dressing.