Pressure sores are tissue damage caused by high and prolonged pressure when patients are bedridden for extended periods of time. It causes ulcers in the area of the abutment, often over the coccyx or tailbone or on the outer ankles - it is called "bedsores". The affected body parts are poorly supplied with blood, there can be life-threatening complications such as blood poisoning.
Pressure ulcers: life-threatening complications
More than 400, 000 people in Germany suffer from pressure ulcers, known in the medical world as pressure ulcers. Every year, even about 10, 000 patients die of this disease. People in need of care, bedridden and chronically ill elderly people or paraplegics are particularly at risk of developing such a painful and dangerous injury. Decubitus comes from Latin and means "drowning".
Pressure ulcers are ulcers and necroses, ie the death of cells of the skin and mucous membranes as a result of pressure. Immobility, can not move, means a big risk. In bedridden patients, the decubitus ulcers are mainly there, how much weight rests: on the coccyx or tailbone or on external ankles.
The affected body parts are very poorly supplied with blood, life-threatening complications such as blood poisoning can occur. At a later stage, more profound pressure injuries occur, which extend to the musculature. Tear-reaching tissue destruction marks stage IV.
The costs are also frightening: according to the Institute for Innovations in Health Care and Applied Nursing Research, the average cost of decubitus therapy is up to 50, 000 euros. The resulting economic damage amounts to 1.5 to 3.0 billion euros per year.
Problem case elderly people
In addition to many research projects, patients who died for the first time in 2000 were commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs for the first time as a starting point for a retrospective study. Fatal bedsores were found in nearly one-third of the patients of a Hamburg crematorium who died after the age of 60 years. 11.2 percent of the deceased had these ulcers.
Patients after stroke, dementia or malnourished are the nutrition experts of the Society of Nutritional Medicine and Dietetics e. V. particularly susceptible to the development of higher-grade decubitus ulcers.
The study found that 54.1 percent of all high-grade decubitus ulcers came from the nursing sector and only 11.5 percent came from hospitals. Home deceased only accounted for about a third; besides, the ulcers were rather easy here.