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Checking The Progress of Pressure Sore

A health care professional should check your pressure sore regularly. How often depends on how well the sore is healing. Generally, a pressure sore should be checked weekly.

Examining the Sore

The easiest time to check pressure sores is after cleaning. Signs of healing include decreased size and depth of the sore and less drainage. You should see signs of healing in 2 to 4 weeks. Infected sores may take longer to heal.

Signs to Report

Tell your doctor or nurse if:

  • The pressure sore is larger or deeper.
  • More fluid drains from the sore.
  • The sore does not begin to heal in 2 to 4 weeks.
  • You see signs of infection below.

Infected Sore Widespread Infection

Thick green or yellow drainage Fever or chills
Foul odor Weakness
Redness or warmth around sore Confusion or difficulty concentrating
Tenderness of surrounding area Rapid heart beat
Swelling

Also report if:

  • You cannot eat a well-balanced diet.
  • You have trouble following any part of the treatment plan.
  • Your general health becomes worse.

Changing the Treatment Plan

If any of these signs exist, you and your health care professional may need to change the treatment plan. Depending on your needs, these factors may be changed:

  • Support surfaces.
  • How often you change how you sit or lie.
  • Methods of cleaning and removing dead tissue.
  • Type of dressing.
  • Nutrition.
  • Infection treatment.

Other Treatment Choices

If sores do not heal, your doctor may recommend electrotherapy. A very small electrical current is used to stimulate healing in this procedure. This is a fairly new treatment for pressure sores. Proper equipment and trained personnel may not always be available.

If your pressure sore is large or deep, or if it does not heal, surgery may be needed to repair damaged tissue. You and your doctor can discuss possible surgery.

Information provided by National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Alternating pressure mattress / low air loss mattress for prevention / treatment of pressure sores.

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