Your risk of developing bedsores is much higher if you have difficulty moving and can’t change positions easily while you’re seated or standing in bed. Some of the most relevant risk factors include:
- Immobility: This might be generally caused by poor health, spinal cord injury, and various other causes;
- incontinence: The skin becomes more vulnerable with prolonged exposure to urine and stool;
- Lack of sensory perception—spinal cord injuries, neurological disorders, and many other conditions—could ultimately result in a loss of sensation. The inability to feel pain or any type of discomfort could result in not being able to see the warning signs and the immediate need to change position.
- Poor nutrition and hydration: People need enough fluids, calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals in their diets to keep healthy skin but also prevent the breakdown of tissues;
- Medical conditions that affect the blood flow: Various health problems that could affect the blood flow, like diabetes and vascular disease, could ultimately increase the risk of tissue damage, including bedsores.
The complications of pressure ulcers, which also include life-threatening cases, could revolve around:
- Cellulitis: Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and the connected soft tissues around the area. It could cause warmth, inflammation, and swelling in the affected areas. People who suffer from nerve damage aren’t aware of the pain, so they can’t really tell if a certain area out of their reach is affected by cellulitis.
- bone and joint infections: An infection from a pressure sore could ultimately spread to joints and bones. Joint infections, like, for instance, septic arthritis, could further damage cartilage and tissue. Bone infections such as osteomyelitis could reduce the function of joints and limbs.
- cancer: Long-term and nonhealing wounds like Marjolin’s ulcers could develop into a certain type of squamous cell carcinoma, which is fairly dangerous;
- Sepsis: In extremely rare cases, a skin ulcer could lead to sepsis.