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Bed Sores Increase Chances of Dying

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How Common are Bedsores? - Doctors call them decubitus ulcers or pressure ulcers, but most of us know them as bedsores. Slightly more than 1 million Americans have them treated in hospitals every year. About 5 million Americans who need daily assistance of another person and an additional 3.5 million Americans in wheelchairs either have them or at high risk of developing pressure ulcers.

What’s the Big Deal? - The US census says that the average life expectancy of 77.9 years, and if one is already 65 years old, that person could reasonably expect to see their 83 birthday. A Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine article says that a person with a bedsore in a hospital has 3 times greater chance of dying than those without bedsores. The chance of a person with a bedsore dying, as compared to a person without a sore, increases by 4 times if that person is at a skilled nursing facility, and 23 times at a long-term care facility. Having a bedsore greatly shortens life expectancy!

What To Do about a Loved One with a Bedsore? - Most Americans with bedsores are at home or in nursing homes. Unlike hospitals where they have more expertise and equipment, what can we do at home to help a loved one? The Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine article recommends lowering pressure as a key component to preventing and treating bedsores. Pressure causes bedsores. Minimizing pressure is the critical step necessary to prevent or treat bedsores.

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