Home Care Nursing 101: Addressing Wounds And Bed Sores For Your Oversized, Bedridden Family Member

If you have an oversized family member who is bedridden, he or she may suffer from some common skin ailments. Bed sores and wounds related to lack of movement and laying in bed all the time can get out of hand, medically speaking. Since you may not know how to prevent, treat or address these sores and wounds, your family member may need a registered nurse from a licensed home care program to come in often and take care of these issues. Here is what the nurse will do.

Assess Your Family Member From Head To Toe

Bed sores and the resulting wounds can occur on almost any part of the body, but more frequently occur on the pressure points near joints. On oversized patients, the weight of the flesh folds can cause skin tears with very little movement, creating wounds that are difficult to treat and heal. As such, the nurse will visually assess your family member from head to toe, front to back and in all of the flesh folds for signs that the integrity of the skin is giving way to bed sores and tears. The nurse will also look at any existing sores, skin tears and wounds to see what can be done to treat them.

Consult With A Doctor Regarding Treatment Of The Current Wounds

While registered nurses are able to treat wounds and apply and administer medicines, they still need a doctor to prescribe medicines and write a treatment plan. After the doctor has read the nurse's notes and seen the pictures of the current wounds, the doctor will prescribe the necessary medicines and write the treatment plan. Then the nurse will return and begin implementing the plan.

Applying Medicines, Irrigating Wounds, Bandaging The Most Severe Areas And Sutures

For wounds and skin tears that have already begun to fester or become infected, the nurse who is providing care for your oversized family member will first clean these wounds often. This might include a simple medical procedure known as wound irrigation. The nurse will flush the wounds with warm saline, pat the areas dry, and then apply medicine and bandages as needed.

If your family member has some bed sores starting to show (i.e., reddened areas that are warm to the touch but have not torn yet), then the nurse will moisturize these areas and possibly apply cushioned dressings to keep pressure off these areas. If necessary, skin tears may need suturing, but with the oversized patient there is always a risk that the stitches could tear from the weight of the skin folds, so this measure is only used when the tears and wounds could result in a dangerous amount of lost blood.

For more information on how home care nursing can help with your situation, talk to a home healthcare provider in your area.