Living With a Spinal Cord Injury - Pressure Sores
Signs to look for
Watch for early signs of
a pressure sore. These can include:
- A new area of redness that doesn't go away within a few minutes
of taking pressure off the area.
- An area of skin that is warmer or cooler than the surrounding
- An area of skin that is firmer or softer than the skin around
Contact your doctor if you:
- Think a pressure sore is starting and you aren't able to adjust
your activities and positioning to protect the area.
- Notice an increase in the size or drainage of the sore.
- Notice increased redness around the sore or black areas starting
- Notice that the sore begins to smell bad and/or the drainage
becomes a greenish color.
- Have a fever.
Treating pressure sores
General treatment for pressure sores is
to keep the area dry and clean, eat well, and reduce pressure. All pressure
sores need to be treated early. If a sore progresses to
stage 3 or 4 , it is hard to treat and can lead to serious
complications. Specific treatment depends on the stage
of the pressure sore.
For more information on treatment,
see the topic
Pressure Sores: Prevention and Treatment.
Note: Pressure sores can
autonomic dysreflexia, which causes sudden very
high blood pressure and headaches. If not treated
promptly and correctly, it may lead to
stroke, and even death. These complications are rare, but it is important to know the
symptoms and watch for them.