Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pressure Sores

It is important for people who are unable to move themselves and lay in bed often to be aware of pressures sores. They occur from too much pressure on one spot of the body for a long period of time. They start out as just a red mark and can progress into a nasty open wound that can be difficult to get rid of. They can be very painful, and if infected may cause death. Many people with physical disabilities get them on their back and butt from sitting and laying too long without changing positions. One can also get pressure sores from laying on wrinkles or from their orthotic braces being too tight or not fitting correctly.

Luckily, I have never gotten a pressure sore that has gotten out of hand. One thing that helps me is to reposition frequently. During the day in my wheelchair, my nurse will change my position using a pillow. I alternate from having a pillow to not having one, in order to relieve pressure on my back. My nurse will also stretch my arms a few times so that they are not in the same position for too long. My wheelchair also reclines and tilts, so I am able to change the position of my body.

In bed, I also use pillows to reposition and relieve pressure on certain parts of my body. During the night when I am sleeping, my nurse comes in and turns me on my right side; three hours later I get turned on my back. After about an hour, they turn me to the other side for three more hours. It's a lot of movement and there are many times that I wake up from just that.

I am in bed more than I am in my chair, and because of that I have an air mattress as another precaution to ensure that I don't get bed sores. The mattress is inflated with air by a pump that hangs on the end of my bed. The air alternates between four chambers in the mattress to change pressure from one spot to the other. It is extremely comfortable and essential for preventing bedsores. My wheelchair cushion that I sit on is also filled with air for the same reason.


1 comment:

WildKat said...

I've been a c6 complete quad since 2004. I haven't had many pressure sores, and the ones I have had didn't get too bad, but it is something you have to be on a constant lookout for that's for sure!