A pressure injury or bed sore is an area of skin that suffers damage due to unrelieved and prolonged pressure. This can occur due to spending excessive time in bed as a result of an illness, injury or limited mobility.
Pressure injuries have four stages of severity. They can occur quite quickly so it is very important to take notice of the warning signs and respond quickly to prevent their occurrence or exacerbation.
Who Is at Risk?
In simple terms, you may be at risk of developing pressure sores if you are confined to a bed, mobility chair or are otherwise unable to move yourself without assistance.
Also at risk are those with poor circulation, or those who frequently perspire or are experiencing a loss of bowel or bladder control. Poor nutrition and poor general health can also be contributing factors, as well as a number of other risk factors.
How to Prevent Them
There are four good ways to prevent pressure sores.
Movement is one of the best preventive measures for bedsores. Shifting your position regularly when seated and laying down can prevent the physical pressure that leads to these sores. For those who are heavily immobile and bedbound, an adjustable electric bed can ensure that you can vary the positions that you lay and sit up in. Cushions propped in different areas can also help to prevent and alleviate pressure sores.
2. Skin Care
Good skin care is important as we age. Try and keep your skin dry and clean at all times. If you are immobile or have impaired mobility please ask those assisting you with bathing, drying and the like to ensure that you are dried correctly and thoroughly.
Either check your skin regularly, using mirrors for hard to see places or ask someone to inspect it for you.
Use a gentle moisturising lotion to prevent your skin from cracking, drying out or breaking out in sores.
3. Pressure Relief
For those “at risk”, early steps can be taken to avoid the development of pressure injuries. Pressure relieving cushions can assist with off-loading boney prominences. Specialised air and foam mattresses can prevent injuries while we rest and sleep. Electric lift and recline chairs can offer repositioning, as well as foams and fabrics that reduce the risk factors.
Refer to your health professional if unsure of what would be best for you and your circumstances.
4. A Healthy Balanced Diet
A balanced diet is important for everyone, not just for those with mobility issues. The role that good nutrition plays in health, including wound healing, cannot be overstated.
Oily fish can help to boost the body’s natural immunity and defences.
Lean meats, poultry, eggs and dairy provide iron and protein, which can help strengthen skin and assist it to heal.
Fruit and vegetables contain vitamins E and C and are very important to promote wound healing.
Pay Attention to Early Warning Signs
Keep an eye out for red, blue and purple blisters, swelling, dryness or dry patches and “shiny” areas of skin. Cracks, wrinkles and callouses are also worth monitoring. If you are unable to inspect yourself then please ask a carer, friend or family member to help you.
Get In Touch with us for More Information
Total Mobility has a variety of products and equipment that aid in preventing, and dealing with, pressure injuries. From cushions and backs for seating, to beds and mattresses for sleeping. Many solutions are available. If you have any questions, please call 1300 868 662 or get in touch online.