Pressure sores in spinal cord injured patients
Pressure sores are defined as lesions caused by long periods of unrelieved pressure, resulting in damage to skin and underlying tissue. External factors (pressure, shear force, friction, and moisture), and internal factors (fever, malnutrition, anemia, and endothelial dysfunction) contribute to the etiology of pressure sores. Pressure sores are a relatively common and serious medical complication for all persons with spinal cord injury, with a reported lifetime likelihood of up to 85%. The risk of pressure sores increases with time after injury. Although these sores can occur anywhere on the body, about 95% of them located in the lower part of the body especially on the sacral, trohanteric, ischial, and heel areas. Pressure sores are chronic wounds for which no gold standart for prevention or treatment has yet been established. Treatment of pressure sores must take into consideration several approaches with a multidisciplinary team work, including conservative wound healing care, and surgical options. However with currently available techniques, healing of a pressure sore takes several weeks to several months. The principles about pressure sore prevention and treatment must be adequately explained for the patient, family, and the health care team and must be reinforced in the course of time.