No one wants to get bed sores. They can be very painful, painful enough to stop you from being able to enjoy your life. But how to prevent bed sores effectively?
Well, bed sores are usually an injury that comes from being in the same position for a long time. They often result as a complication of poor medical or nursing care. They generally occur in hospitalized patients who are not able to move around much.
At a critical stage, the bed sores often become so deep and infected that they can jeopardize the life of these patients.
Don’t let that happen to your loved one. Read along and discover how to prevent bed sores.
Table of Contents
Identify Risk Factors
It is important to identify risk factors and take preventive measures.
Some of these risk factors include immobility, weight bearing on bony prominences, excessive moisture, friction or shearing forces, malnutrition, altered or decreased level of consciousness, age, incontinence, changes in capillary refill, vascular disease, pressure ulcers, skin folds and folds of clothing.
It is important to know the stages of bed sores to know what actions are needed. Taking preventative measures includes examining the patient’s skin at least once a day and rotating pressure relieving mattresses or cushions at intervals, both of which are essential for patient comfort and reducing the risk of sores.
Establish a Skin Care Routine
When trying to prevent bed sores, establishing a regular skincare routine is important.
Start by washing the skin with mild, unscented soap and drying thoroughly. Be sure to clean any areas that are difficult to reach, such as the back and elbow creases, using a soft brush.
Applying a lubricant or protective cream specially developed for bed sores is recommended. This will create a barrier between the skin and the bed. Make sure to change positions every two hours and reposition when necessary.
Keeping the bed clean and properly dried after washing will also help reduce the risk of bed sores. If the skin is especially tender, consider using a body pillow or an air mattress to keep pressure off of the skin. Lastly, ensure proper nutrition and hydration to keep skin healthy and prevent bed sores.
The most important thing is to keep moving and repositioning the person at least every 2 hours. This can be done by shifting the weight of the person on the bed and avoiding long periods where pressure is applied to one area.
It is also important to position the patient’s head slightly elevated and make sure that their limbs are at least 30 degrees off of the mattress. When transferring and repositioning, provide the patient with support to alleviate pressure on bony prominences and to limit sliding.
During long-term positioning, use specialized supports such as special mattresses, pillows, and rolls to provide additional comfort and reduce potential pressure points. Lastly, keep the head of the bed at a 30 to 45-degree angle to ensure the patient’s airways are open.
Other Tips on How to Prevent Bed Sores
It is important to remember that prevention is key when it comes to avoiding bedsores. Apart from the three items mentioned, sitting down, changing linens, using pads, and providing pressure relief regularly are essential to avoid bedsores.
For further advice and tips on how to prevent bed sores, speak to your doctor or nurse today.
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