Bedsores, or pressure ulcers, are complex medical conditions that can lead to serious complications. Without appropriate intervention and treatment, pressure ulcers progress through a number of stages that become harder to treat. When an improperly treated stage 1 bedsore becomes more serious, it may develop into a stage 2 bedsore. Knowing the signs, symptoms, and treatment options for this classification of ulcer can help caregivers and loved ones intervene before the condition becomes more serious. If you or somebody you love has developed a stage 2 bedsore due to negligence, consider speaking with a compassionate Charleston, West Virginia nursing home abuse lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Symptoms of Stage 2 Bedsores
Stage 1 bedsores progress to stage two when they break the surface of the skin. As such, stage 2 bedsores are readily identifiable as blisters that may be intact or burst into an open, shallow sore. These sores often appear red or pink and have red and irritating skin surrounding them. If infected, a bedsore may also appear moist and be filled with pus or fluid.
Stage 2 bedsores often only affect the top layer of the skin, the epidermis. In some cases, such as when the ulcer presents as an open sore, the dermal layer of skin may be visible. The third layer of skin, the subcutaneous (fatty) layer remains unaffected.
As a general rule, the more advanced the bedsore, the more difficult it is to treat. People who present with symptoms of a stage 2 pressure ulcer should receive prompt treatment and evaluate their root cause as soon as possible.
Other possible symptoms of stage 2 ulcers include:
- Skin irritation
- Accumulation of pus
- Warmth of the surrounding area, indicating possible infection
- Discoloration and redness
Caregivers who notice the symptoms of a stage 2 pressure ulcer should address the problem as soon as possible. At this stage, complications can quickly develop and progress to other, more serious stages of bedsores. In the more complex stages of bedsores, negative health outcomes such as amputation, systemic infection, or organ failure may be possible.
How to Treat Stage 2 Bedsores
Like treatment of stage 1 bedsores, caregivers must address the root cause of the issue and work hard to prevent the sore from progressing to a more serious medical condition. Some of the most common causes of bedsores are malnutrition, dehydration, friction, and lack of movement. Eliminating these causes can help the healing process and allow the skin to begin to recover on its own.
Arguably the most common cause of pressure ulcers is a lack of appropriate movement. When an immobile patient remains in one position for too long, the blood can begin to pool and degrade the skin underneath, leading to the eventual presentation of an open sore. Reducing or eliminating the pressure on the infected area remains one of the most effective methods of treatment.
Other effective methods for treating stage 2 pressure ulcers include:
- Washing the sore with mild soap and water and drying thoroughly.
- Keeping the patient well hydrated, with intravenous fluids if necessary.
- Providing the patient with a well-balanced diet rich in whole grains, protein, fruits, and vegetables. If malnutrition is of concern due to lack of appetite, caregivers may consider intravenous nutritional supplementation.
- Frequent inspection of the skin to prevent risk of progression to stage 3 bedsores, as well as surveillance of the other areas of skin that may be prone to ulcer formation.
- Nursing home workers can help patients recover from bedsores by providing proper support with pillows and changing positions frequently. Specialized bedding equipment exists for immobilized patients that can prevent the reoccurrence of bedsores.
At this stage, appropriate intervention and treatment is the key to preventing further complications. When stage 2 bedsores go untreated, they can progress into stage 3 versions of the affliction.