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WHOOPING COUGH

BED SORES

More accurately called pressure sores or pressure ulcers, bed sores are areas of skin that have become damaged and tissue that develop when sustained pressure cuts off circulation to vulnerable parts of the body, especially the skin on your buttocks, hips and heels. Lack of adequate blood flow results in the affected tissue dying.

People living with paralysis are among those most at risk for developing bed sores. However, anyone who is bedridden, uses a wheelchair or is unable to change positions without help can develop bed sores.

The development of bed sores can happen quickly, progress rapidly and in most cases, are difficult to heal.

A professional organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of pressure sores known as The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel categorizes bed sores into one of four stages based on their severity.

Stage I - These wounds are superficial and heal soon after the pressure is relieved.

At first, a pressure sore appears as a persistent area of red, itchy skin that may hurt and feel warm and spongy or firm to the touch.

Stage II - By stage II, loss of skin has already occurred and the wound is now an open sore that resembles a blister or an abrasion. The tissues surrounding the skin may show red or purple discoloration. With immediate treatment, stage II sores usually heal fairly quickly.

Stage III - By stage III, the pressure ulcer has extended through all the skin layers down to the muscle. This causes extreme damage or destruction to the affected tissue and creating a deep, cavity like opening.

Stage IV- This is the most serious and advanced stage in which an amount of skin is lost. Muscle and bone damage may also occur as well as supporting structures such as tendons and joints.

Stage IV - These wounds are extremely difficult to heal and can lead to life-threatening infections.

A person using a wheel chair is most likely to develop a pressure sore on:

  • The tailbone or buttocks
  • The shoulder blades and spine
  • The back of the arms and legs where they rest against the chair
  • A bed ridden person may experience bed-sores in any of these areas:
  • The back or sides of the head
  • The rims of their ears
  • The shoulders or shoulder blades
  • The hip bones, lower back or tailbone
  • The backs or sides of the knees, heels, ankles and toes

Bed sores occur as a result of non-movement. The reason why mobile people do not experience them is because constant moving prevent problems arising from inactivity. People immobilized by paralysis, injury or illness are at a very high risk of developing bed sores.

Non-movement of the body results in sustained pressure on it. Bed sores are especially common in areas that aren't well padded with muscle or fat and that lie just over a bone. These areas include the spine, tailbone (coccyx), shoulder blades, hips, heels and elbows.

Blood flow can easily become restricted in these areas because the skin and the underlying tissues are trapped between bone and a surface such as a wheelchair or bed. This causes lack of oxygen and other nutrients to the tissue which results in irreversible damage and tissue death to occur.

The regimen below includes a holistic approach to treating bed sores:

Rotate a bedridden person's position every two hours.

Provide support with pillows beneath the shoulders and between the legs.

Keep the skin clean and dry.

Keep a close eye on pressure points for possible bedsore development and massage these areas daily to increase circulation.

Keep the bed clean and dry.

The diet should be simple and well-balanced to ensure a sufficient supply of vitamins and minerals.

Drink plenty of fluids on a consistent basis.

Do not consume animal fats, fried foods, junk foods, processes foods and sugar.

Try to have a bowel movement everyday.

Apply essential oils and aloe vera to affected areas.

The following supplements may also be beneficial:

Essential Fatty Acids (take as directed on label) - Necessary for cell production.

Vitamin E (400 IU daily & up) - Improves circulation.

Zinc (50 -80 mg daily) - Important in healing tissues.

Copper (3 mg daily) - Needed to balance with zinc.

Free-form Amino Acid Complex (take as directed on label) - Supplies the protein needed for healing.

Vitamin B Complex (100 mg of each major B vitamin twice daily w/ meals) - Reduces stress and aids healing.

Vitamin C (3,000 - 10,000 mg daily in divided doses) - Aids healing and circulation.

Calcium (2,000 mg daily) and Magnesium (1,000 mg daily) - Keep bones from softening due to confinement.

Garlic (2 capsules 3 times daily) - Natural antibiotic that shields against infection.

Carotenoid Complex (take as directed on label) - Improves skin tissue.

Goldenseal, Myrrh Gum, Pau d'Arco and Suma - Taken in tea or extract form, are beneficial for bed sores.

 

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