Nursing, Personal Care Attendant (PCA)

Arterial ulcers, Blisters, Burns, Decubitus ulcers, Pressure points

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Arterial ulcers: Arterial ulcers are caused by poor circulation to the extremities. Watch for a blistery rash, peeling skin, brown patches, or other discoloration on the legs and feet.


Blisters: Blisters are fluid filled sacks, caused by the body trying to protect an injured area. It is trying to form its own cushion. If you see a blister at a pressure point, the tissue beneath the blister is damaged and an ulcer has begun to form. Document and report this observation immediately so that treatment can begin.


Burns: Burns are skin damage caused by the sun, fire, hot liquids, chemicals, or electricity. Burn classification is based on how deep the damage goes. Skin with a first-degree burn is red, and can be swollen and sensitive, but is not blistered or open. Second-degree burns are blistered, red, and painful, sometimes with swelling. Third-degree burns have deep damage to all skin layers and can be life threatening.


Decubitus ulcers: Decubitus ulcers (AKA pressure sores, AKA bed sores) are caused by pressure placed on skin when body weight presses the skin against an outer object (mattress, chair, etc.). The area of skin under pressure is deprived of circulation, and begins to die.


Pressure points: Pressure points are body parts that have little to no adipose tissue. The skin is covering a bone that with pressure against an outside surface ulcerates. Common pressure points that cause ulcers are elbows, ankles, heels, tailbone, and hip bones.