A severe injury can lay you in bed for days or weeks. Some injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, make it impossible to move without assistance. If you are to recover from a severe injury as best as you can, you should be aware of the possibility of bedsores that may arise because of your degraded state of health.
People with paralyzing conditions or an immobilizing injury are at particular risk of developing a bedsore, also known as a pressure sore. Bedsores are dangerous because they can lead to debilitating or even fatal health problems. MSKTC explains the factors that may lead to developing a bedsore.
Pain signals and bedsores
While feeling pain is not a pleasant experience, pain signals alert you that you need to get out of a situation that may cause you harm. Pain tells you when a surface presses too hard against your skin and that you need to shift your weight. For example, people shift in bed so that they do not lie in one position for too long.
However, if you suffer a spinal cord injury, your nervous system might not convey the pain signals to your brain to tell you to move your body. As a result, you will not know when to shift your body to relieve pressure against your skin that can cause bedsores.
Because a sore breaches your skin, your body is at greater risk of an infection. Infections can lead to an illness that may take weeks or months to recover from. Some infections damage a limb badly enough to require amputation. An infection that spreads to the bone, blood or heart may even turn fatal.
Even if you survive severe complications from a pressure sore, the treatment needed to recover your health can be expensive. So if you suffer from a condition that impedes your ability to move or to feel pain, you may need to consider how to prevent a bedsore as part of your treatment and recovery.