Bed Sore Prevention using Australian Medical Sheepskins
"It's a good thing we toss and turn in bed. That movement continually redistributes the pressure between our bodies and the mattress. If illness or injury prevents you from moving around, pressure builds up on specific areas of the body. This can cause skin and other tissues to die, creating a bedsore. A few simple steps, however, can help prevent these painful, dangerous, and costly sores, reports the November 2006 issue of the Harvard Health Letter."
Bed sores, pressure sores and decubitus ulcers are painful, debilitating and unnecessary. Use this guide to learn about bed sores and their prevention. Bed sores can develop very quickly and may progress into a Stage 4 pressure ulcer; like the one shown below. Preventing this from happening should be of primary concern for caregivers.
Bed sores tend to develop on people who are confined to a bed or chair. Most often they are first seen in the tail-bone 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. Australian Medical sheepskins 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 Australian Medical Sheepskins. 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 Australian Medical Sheepskins 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.
Bed sores, decubitus ulcers and pressure sores are unnecessary and can be prevented. Prevention is possible when you provide an environment for the patient that does not foster the formation of bedsores. This environment can be produced by Australian HiTemp UR Medical Sheepskins. These pressure, shear and moisture reducing devices are approved by the FDA as Medical Devices.
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 is recognized as 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 Australian Medical Sheepskin. Australian Medical Sheepskins also wick moisture away from the skin; keeping it dry and firm. Moist skin is more likely to tear when a person moves. Australian Medical Sheepskins reduce friction. If a person lies directly on a Australian Medical Sheepskin, skin abrasion and tears are less likely to happen.
Premium grade Australian Medical Sheepskins (AS4480-1 1998) add comfort and an improved feeling of well-being to those confined to a bed or wheelchair. The 2004 clinical trial at the Royal Melbourne Hospital found that people placed on these Australian Medical Sheepskins had 58% fewer bed sores than those placed on regular bed linen. For clinical trial details, click: Research
When a person rests on a HiTemp UR Medical Sheepskin, there are 3 continuous bed sore prevention effects:
1. Pressure reduction at the point of body contact with the sheepskin.
2. Reduction of friction and shearing forces which rub and tear the skin.
3. Prevention of the build-up of skin moisture.
Effective caregivers use HiTemp UR Medical Sheepskins to prevent or manage bed sores.
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