In stage 3, the sore worsens and extends into the tissue beneath the skin, forming a small crater. Stage 4 pressure sores are very deep, reaching into muscle and bone and causing extensive damage.
Stage 3 and 4 pressure sores are slow to heal. A deep sore may take months or years to respond to treatment. Treatment of pressure sores at stages 3 and 4 includes:
- Relieving pressure from skin, changing positions often, and using sheepskins or pressure-relieving devices to aid recovery.
- Providing a nutritional diet with adequate protein, to promote healing and healthy skin.
- Keeping the wound clean and moist with medicated dressings and irrigating it with saline solution, as needed.
- Using prescribed topical creams or ointments.
- Removing dead tissue (debridement) when necessary.
- Using antibiotics if the wound becomes infected. Signs of infection include red streaks from the wound, pus, or a fever.
- Having a skin graft, if needed. Skin grafts help stimulate skin growth at the site of the sore if the wound extends into muscle and deeper tissues. The wound may be surgically closed to promote healing after a skin graft.
Bedsores commonly occur at the spots where pressure consistently applies. These include heel, tailbone, elbow, shoulder and back of head (when patient lies on the back for a long time), ankle, knee, hip, shoulder and ear (when patient lies on the side for a long time), shoulder blader, buttocks, heel and ball of foot (when patient sits for a long time).
Information provided by National Library of Medicine (NLM).
pressure mattress / low air loss mattress for prevention / treatment
of pressure sores.