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Pressure Ulcers

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Pressure ulcers are common in the world today because they keep evolving continuously. This paper tries to answer some of the fundamental questions revolving around the pressure ulcers problem.

There are four types of pressure ulcers currently recognized by the health care community. These are the stage 1, 2, 3, and 4 pressure ulcers. A painful skin with no open wounds characterizes stage 1 of the pressure ulcers; the skin appears reddish with warmer than normal temperatures. At this stage, the affected area can feel softer or harder than the areas surrounding it. Stage 2 shows a broken skin, with substantial pain. The ulcer extends to the inner skin layers and appears as a blister or a scrape. The affected skin is likely to die. At stage 3, the ulcer gets deeper into the soft tissues under the skin and develops a small crater (DeFloor et al., 2005). The fat in the affected area may be visible, but no muscle or bone is exposed. The last stage depicts a very deep ulcer that extends to the muscle and bone. At this stage, tissues and tendons are highly damaged. Pressure ulcer develops when a patient stays in the same position for a long time, and its stage depends on the depth of the ulcer.

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Hospital-acquired pressure ulcer poses a great challenge to hospitals financially. The hospitals have to take care of the patients using their own resources because restrictions on disbursement of medical aid for this ulcer have been affected. Treating a patient who has developed stage 4 pressure ulcer will cost $43,180.

Barbara Braden and Nancy Bergstrom developed the Braden scale. It was designed to help nurses ascertain the probability of a patient to develop pressure ulcers (DeFloor et al., 2005). This instrument takes approximately one minute to display the results. Although it does not stop pressure ulcers, the results will guide the nurse on the required preventive strategies. It is a useful tool for the nursing staff because it prepares them early enough to counter pressure ulcers.

The forces that can make pressure ulcers develop include diabetes mellitus, sepsis, peripheral vascular disease, age, malnutrition, malignancy among others. These risk factors make the patient susceptible to pressure ulcers because they tend to be less mobile.
Compared to uncertified nurses, Wound Continence Ostomy Certified Nurses are tasked with staging the pressure ulcers. They can accurately classify the stage of the ulcer and assess the depth of the wound.

In conclusion, pressure ulcer has posed a considerable challenge to the medical fraternity. The cost of treating the ulcer at stage 4 is quite high, and the number of certified nurses who can adequately handle it are few.

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