Pressure ulcers, also known as pressure sores, are local injuries to the skin and soft tissue located under bone prominences due to prolonged and intense pressure or pressure combined with shear forces. These injuries can manifest as intact skin or open ulcers, which may cause pain. The tolerance of soft tissue to pressure and shear forces may be affected by microenvironment, nutrition, perfusion, co-morbidities, and tissue condition. They are commonly found in elderly patients with chronic neurological diseases who are bedridden for a long time, and are more likely to occur with low levels of protein in the blood, urinary and fecal incontinence, malnutrition, or smoking.
The traditional belief is that wound healing requires a dry environment and sufficient oxygen, so sterile gauze is often used to maintain the dryness and cleanliness of the wound surroundings. However, in recent years, the "moist wound healing theory" has been widely recognized clinically, and hydrocolloid dressings, a type of adhesive made from sodium carboxymethylcellulose, are a new treatment for breaking down ulcerative wounds. They have good absorbency and vapor permeability, and can enhance local capillary growth, providing a moist environment that reduces pain during dressing changes and speeds up the healing of pressure sores and wounds.
The use of hydrocolloid dressings not only moisturizes and treats wounds and ulcers, but also softens, dissolves and quickly separates necrotic tissue. Meanwhile, it can absorb wound exudate and promote granulation tissue growth. In addition, the special design of hydrocolloid dressings allows them to adhere closely to the skin without falling off and without restricting movement, reducing friction on pressure sore areas and effectively protecting the skin from being compressed and preventing pressure sores. It also avoids contamination of wound sites by excretions, especially in bedridden elderly patients.
Note that nursing observations for the use of hydrocolloid dressings include regular checking of the dressings for whiteness, the amount of exudate, and the presence of curling. The edges should be cut off or the dressings should be replaced as needed. If signs of infection appear, such as odor from the wound, redness, swelling, heat or pain around the wound, and gray-white discharge, bacterial cultures of the secretions should be taken and appropriate treatment should be given if infection is confirmed.
In summary, as a special population, elderly patients are inevitably at risk of developing pressure sores due to their own factors. The use of dressings for the treatment of chronic wounds and pressure sores has a high cure rate, short treatment time, no formation of crusts, no sticking to the wound, low risk of infection, reduced pain for patients, high compliance, and also reduces the workload for nurses, making it worth promoting clinically.