In US hospitals nationwide, the incidence of bedsores ranges from 2.7 to 29.5 percent, while in nursing homes and residential facilities; that figure is 23 percent (Treatment of Pressure Ulcers, Clinical Guideline Number 3, Agency Health Care Research and Quality, Publication No. 95–0652: December 1994). These data refer to 1994, but recent data suggests these numbers are being exceeded because the aging population is adding more and more people to Nursing Home care.
Our customers have found the following products best suited for Nursing Home use. They are recommended because they are effective, economical and will not be damaged by incontinence or harsh laundry treatment.
Bed sores tend to develop on older people who are confined to bed or chair. As one ages the skin becomes thinner and more easily damaged. Most often pressure sores are first seen in the tailbone or ankle areas. Fortunately, the risk of developing bed sores can be reduced significantly. Preventing bedsores is the logical and most humane method you have of caring for those confined to a bed or wheelchair. Bedsores are unnecessary and, 95% of the time, can be prevented. - American Family Physician, October 1996: v54, n5, p1519 (14)
Bed Sore Prevention Guidelines:
1. Take care of the skin:
Inspect the skin daily. Pay special attention to red areas and pressure points. Minimize moisture contact with the skin. Dense Lambswool pile will reduce pressure and wick moisture away from the skin, keeping it dry.
2. Protect the skin from injury:
Avoid massaging skin over bony areas. Change body position at least every 2 hours- more frequently in a chair. Reduce friction ( rubbing) by lifting rather than dragging. Do not use donut shape cushions. These can increase the risk of getting pressure ulcers by reducing blood flow in the areas of contact with the cushion. If the patient is confined to bed, reduce pressure points with a dense wool-pile. The head of the bed should be raised as little as possible. When the head of the bed is raised above 30 degrees, the skin may slide over the bed surface, damaging skin and small blood vessels. Pillows or wedges should be used to keep knees and ankles from touching each other. Patients should avoid lying directly on the hip bone when lying on their side. Pillows and Medical Sheepskin may help. If the patient is completely immobile, pillows should be put under their legs from mid-calf to ankle to keep heels off the bed. Never place pillows under the knees. This cuts off blood circulation. Use dense fine Wool-Pile to protect the skin from injury.
3. Eat well:
Eat a balance diet. Proteins and calories are very important for healthy skin. Healthy skin is less liable to be damaged.
4. Improve the patients ability to move:
A rehabilitation program can help some people gain movement and independence. The patient can help to prevent most pressure sores.
Bed Sores, decubitus ulcers and pressure sores develop through 4 stages. Notify your medical practitioner and nursing staff if you notice any of the following:
Stage 1. You will notice redness of the intact skin. The skin is unbroken, but inflamed and may be painful and warm to the touch. You might also notice the skin's texture may be spongy or firm.
Stage 2. Here you will see the first sign of skin breakdown and partial skin loss. It will look like an abrasion, blister or shallow crater. The outer layer of the skin is broken, red and painful. Surrounding tissue may be pale, red or swollen.
Stages 3 & 4 result in ulcer production.The skin has broken down and there is extensive destruction or damage to the underlying muscle, bone or supporting structures. Ulcers are extremely difficult to heal and may take many months for complete repair. Preventing the development of an ulcer should be considered seriously.
Stage 4 Pressure Sore
Bed sores, decubitus ulcers and pressure sores are unnecessary and can be prevented. Prevention is possible when you create an environment for the patient that does not foster the formation of bedsores. This environment can be created with the use of a wool fleece.
If a bed sore has developed already, the best thing that you can do is to try and remove the cause of the bed sore. Pressure often causes bedsores. Pressure against the small blood vessels in the skin will cause them to collapse. Thus, blood flow to that area will cut off. Skin cells will be deprived of oxygen and nutrients and will die. The death of the skin is the beginning of what will become a bed sore. To prevent this from happening, you must reduce the pressure on the skin. This can be achieved by lying/sitting on a wool fleece. Wool will wick moisture away from the skin; keeping it dry and firm. Moist skin is more likely to tear when a person moves. Wool reduces friction. If a person lies directly on a wool fleece, skin abrasion and tears are less likely to happen.
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