What is the treatment for decubitus ulcers?


Quick Answer

Treatment for decubitus ulcers varies based on ulcer stage but may include surgery, medications and therapy, according to Healthline. Prescription drugs treat infections and relieve discomfort. Debridement is a treatment process that removes dead tissue and cleans the wound, and the doctor may advise patients to change bandages frequently to promote healing.

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Full Answer

Decubitus ulcers are also called bed sores, pressure ulcers and pressure sores, explains Healthline. The ulcer often develops on the skin in bony areas of the body. Common locations include ankles, hips, back and buttocks. Individuals who spend long periods of time in bed or in a wheelchair are susceptible to developing decubitus ulcers. Elderly and disabled people, individuals with fragile skin and those who cannot independently move certain body parts are also susceptible to decubitus ulcers.

Decubitus ulcers may go through four stages, details Mayo Clinic. In stage 1, the skin is not broken, it becomes discolored and the area is tender, firm, soft, cool or warm relative to the surrounding skin. Stage 2 ulcers show damage or loss to the outer and underlying skin layers, the wound is pink or red and shallow and it may look like a ruptured or fluid-filled blister.

Decubitis ulcers in stage 3 are deep wounds where fat is usually exposed by the skin loss; the bottom of the wound has dead, yellowish skin tissue; the ulcer looks crater-like; and the damage may move beyond the original wound, advises Mayo Clinic. Stage 4 decubitis ulcers may expose tendons, bones or muscles; the bottom of the ulcer usually has dark, crusty, yellowish skin; and the damage generally spreads beyond the original wound.

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