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Spinal Cord Injuries

How to Safeguard a Mattress from Incontinence

When a bedridden person suffers from incontinence, additional protection is required both for the patient and for his or her bed. For the patient, you will find incontinence briefs, such as ‘Attends’ or ‘Prevail’, that offer lots of aid; and to help preserve the mattress, there are products like mattress pads, incontinence pads, and mattress protectors available nationwide. The use of these pads and protectors is an inexpensive and simple way to prevent serious damage to the mattress as well as to isolate moisture from the patient’s skin. If you have a loved one, or take care of someone, who is bedridden and suffers from incontinence, you may already know about these products, but if you don’t, give them a try: - Vinyl or rubber supported mattress protector Every bedding section of big department stores offers a wide array of mattress pads and protectors. Some protectors are waterproof but others may not be; thus, make sure you thoroughly read the information on the package to chose one that works for incontinence. Some mattress protectors that are supported by rubber have to be washed after every accident. These protectors have a cloth top and a bottom that is backed with rubber, and while they are great to isolate moisture, they must be washed every time the patient has an incontinence episode. There is another kind of mattress protector that consists of a bag with a zipper; it is made out of vinyl and slides over the whole mattress. The vinyl protector is placed under a standard mattress pad and bottom sheet, and it can be cleaned with a disinfectant when an accident happens. - Incontinence pads Hospitals use a type of disposable incontinence pads called “chux”, which offers great protection for patients and bed linens. “Chux” are blue and are available through medical supply stores or the Web. The green alternative to the “chux” is the washable bed pads, which can also be found at medical supply stores or online. - Rubber supported draw sheets If your loved one, or the bedridden person you are caring for, is not able to leave the bed at all, there are special sheets called “draw sheets” that will help you lift and turn the patient in bed without hurting him or her, and yourself, in the process. Draw sheets measure about 36" x 70" and are placed on the bed sideways. Some types of these sheets are supported with rubber on the back, providing full protection for the patient, the linens, and the mattress. These can be found at medical supply stores online. All of these pads and supports can be used with a low air loss mattress or any other type of special mattress the bedridden patient requires to preserve his or her health and physical integrity. If you liked this article, tell all your friends about it. They’ll thank you for it. If you have a blog or website, you can link to it or even post it to your own site (don’t forget to mention our Pressure Mattress website as the original source). Rachel Clarkson Rachel Clarkson is a bed sores specialist and a big fan and promoter of “The Volkner Turning Mattress”: http://www.Volkner .com  (Aug 31, 2010 | post #1)

Spinal Cord Injuries

Top Tips for Caring for a Pressure Sore

If you’re caring for someone who is bedridden or prone to pressure sores - or even if it is you who is susceptible to these distressing wounds - it’s essential to know how to look after them if they develop. Thorough and informed care of pressure sores will help them heal faster, prevent complications caused by infection and keep them from causing you further discomfort. Follow these essential tips for caring for a pressure sore: 1. Cleaning - Ask your health care professional for their advice before attempting to clean a pressure sore. Use the right methods, equipment and cleaning solutions according to their recommendations. - Clean the sore each time you change the dressing. - Be careful not to apply too much pressure to the sore when cleaning so that you damage healing tissues. On the same note, apply sufficient force so that the wound is properly cleaned. - Do not use antiseptics such as hydrogen peroxide or iodine. These can damage sensitive tissue. - In general, Stage 1 sores can be washed and kept clean with mild soap and water. Be careful not to use a soap that has any ingredients which could be irritating to the skin or wound. Saline solutions are used to treat Stage 3 sores - the saltwater helps to remove extra fluid and loose material. 2. Removing dead tissue and debris - This is often a painful procedure so consider giving the patient a painkiller 30 to 60 minutes before you begin. - Consult your health care professional before attempting to remove any dead tissue or debris yourself. At times, they may recommend the removal procedure is carried out by a medical professional. - Rinsing the sore before each dressing change will help prevent a build up of debris. - Ask your health care professional about which removal method is best for the type of sore being treated. The most common ones are (i) wet-to-dry dressings which are applied when moist but dries to pull off dead tissue and debris once removed, (ii) enzyme medications which dissolve dead tissue, (iii) special dressings which encourage the body’s natural enzymes to dissolve dead tissue over a number of days. 3. Dressing the sore - Sores should be kept covered with a bandage or dressing. These should be changed regularly. - Always seek your health care provider’s advice and recommendations about which dressings to use. Allow them to watch you dress a sore so you know you are using the right methods. - If using gauze dressings, keep the gauze moist and change at least once a day. Dried our gauze can pull away skin tissue. - Wash your hands thoroughly before and after each dressing change. Use disposable gloves if needed. - Use each dressing only once. Once finished with, a small plastic bag like a sandwich bag can be used to lift the dressing off the sore and to then discard and throw away the dressing. - Check the dressing will stay in place when the pressure sore patient moves or changes position. - Choose the right type of dressing or bandage for the sore. These include moist gauzes, film (see-through dressings) and hydrocolloid dressings which mold to the sore and promote healing and skin growth. - Store and care for the dressings so they are kept clean. Discard dressings if any become wet or dirty. Only remove dressings from their box when they are needed for use. For best prevention of bedsores, change the position of your patient every two hours and invest in a mattress overlay which will prevent bedsores from developing. If you liked this article, tell all your friends about it. They’ll thank you for it. If you have a blog or website, you can link to it or even post it to your own site (don’t forget to mention our Pressure Mattress website as the original source). Rachel Clarkson Rachel Clarkson is a bed sores specialist and a big fan and promoter of “The Volkner Turning Mattress”: http://www.Volkner .com  (Aug 27, 2010 | post #1)

Spinal Cord Injuries

9 Essential Tips for Coping with Care-Giver’s Stress

Oftentimes, a care-giver to the ill, bedridden or elderly may find their role both physically and emotionally overwhelming. While taking care of the many needs of their patient, they forget to cater to their own needs. Sadly, this can lead to the care-giver becoming exhausted, depressed, neglecting their health, feeling unable to cope and becoming ill themselves. If you’re a care-giver, take note of these 9 essential tips to beating care-giver’s stress. 1. Never forget your own health Just as your patient needs to have their mind, body and spirit nurtured - so do you. Make it a priority to eat well, exercise and get eight hours of sleep. Being a run-down care-giver will not be beneficial to yourself or your patient. 2. Give yourself respite time Make use of respite services in your community or enlist a friend or relative to give you regular breaks from your care-giving which can sometimes be an around-the-clock role. Use your breaks to do things you enjoy like spending time with your family, relaxing or enjoying a night out with friends. 3. Seek support from other care-givers Find other care-givers like yourself. You can do this through support groups or through online resources. Speaking to other care-givers who understand your experiences can be valuable and it might also give you a chance to pick up tips or useful advice. 4. Learn good ways to cope with stress Learn meditation or deep breathing exercises, start an exercise routine or learn how to think positively and banish negative thoughts. These simple methods could make a big difference in how you feel each day. 5. Recognize your successes Don’t forget to acknowledge your successes each day - e.g., making your patient smile or receiving their thanks for something you do. However small the successes, know the value of your role as a care-giver and the difference you are making. Accept the things you cannot change. 6. Get informed It may seem like a chore, but finding out as much as you can about your patient’s condition or illness could actually lighten your load and help you feel more in control when caring for them. Speak to their health adviser and care team and use books or online resources to gain information and advice that will help you with your care-giving. 7. Eliminate negative habits When a person feels stressed, it’s easy to engage in negative habits such as over-eating, drinking alcohol, withdrawing from people or neglecting your diet. If you know you are prone to any of these or other negative habits, make a determined effort not to engage in them - remember they will only make you feel worse. 8. Get things off your chest Try not to bottle up your emotions related to your care-giving. Speak to someone you can trust about how you are feeling. Acknowledging feelings of frustration, sadness, anger, resentment, etc, will be the first step towards dealing with them. Seek professional help if your stress becomes too overwhelming. 9. Look for opportunities to lighten your load Accept help when offered to you and make use of community resources created to help care-givers. Also, invest in practical aids that can make your care-giving role easier, as well as making your patient feel more comfortable. These include grooming, hygiene and bathing aids and products such as a low air loss mattress which prevents distressing bedsores for the bedridden. If you liked this article, tell all your friends about it. They’ll thank you for it. If you have a blog or website, you can link to it or even post it to your own site (don’t forget to mention our Pressure Mattress website as the original source). Rachel Clarkson Rachel Clarkson is a bed sores specialist and a big fan and promoter of “The Volkner Turning Mattress”: http://www.Volkner .com  (Aug 25, 2010 | post #1)

Spinal Cord Injuries

6 Essentials to Remember When Taking Care of the Bedridden

When taking care of a bedridden loved-one, it’s sometimes hard to imagine how they are feeling because of their confinement, illness and disabilities. As a care-giver, you’ll want to do the best job possible to cater to their physical and emotional wellbeing. But at times you may find there is so much to think about, it’s easy to neglect some of their most basic needs. If you become a care-giver to a bedridden loved-one, here are 6 essential areas it’s important to focus on: 1. Physical care Consult a healthcare provider to learn about the best possible practical care you can provide to the bedridden. One vital task will be to encourage your loved-one to move their limbs to prevent frozen joints, immobility and blood clots, and to stimulate healthy nerve responses. You might need to move your loved-one’s limbs for them if they are unable to do so on their own. Also, change their position every two hours to prevent bedsores caused by continuous pressure on the skin. 2. Nutrition Good nutrition is important for the bedridden. This encompasses a well-balanced diet that promotes their well-being. Ensure they have enough fiber so that unnecessary discomforts such as constipation do not occur. A good amount of fruit and vegetables are essential, too, so that your loved-one receives good nutrients to support their health and healing. Give them small, frequent meals - rather than single large ones - and make sure the patient is properly positioned when eating to avoid choking. 3. Hygiene Prevent unnecessary infections developing through good hygiene care. Brush your loved-one’s teeth and floss their gums, wash their body daily and try to give them baths at least every other day, change incontinence garments frequently if they are being used, keep nails short and try to prevent sweat from building up in areas that are prone. 4. Specific medical problems Have frequent consultations with a healthcare professional and become well-informed about your loved-one’s specific medical problems. Look for any changes related to their condition. Be organized and make sure you give your loved-one their medications at the right time. You might even choose to join a support group related to their illness to help you access information and support related to your care-giving. 5. Psychological support and understanding Your loved-one will need you to be understanding about their psychological state too. They may become depressed because of their condition or feel frustrated and hopeless. Try and cater to your loved-ones emotional needs. For example, if you know having flowers in the room or playing music may lift their mood, make the effort to please them with these things. Allow your loved-one to express their wishes about your care-giving so they feel they have some control over their situation. Offer yourself as someone to talk to and reassure them with your love and compassion. 6. The right equipment aids Invest in good products to keep your loved-one feeling as comfortable as possible and make their day easier, e.g., hygiene, dressing and bath aids. Since they will be in bed most of the time, it’s important that they have a bed and pillows that are supportive. Also, consider a pressure mattress to help prevent distressing bedsores. If you liked this article, tell all your friends about it. They’ll thank you for it. If you have a blog or website, you can link to it or even post it to your own site (don’t forget to mention our Pressure Mattress website as the original source). Rachel Clarkson Rachel Clarkson is a bed sores specialist and a big fan and promoter of “The Volkner Turning Mattress”: http://www.Volkner .com  (Aug 23, 2010 | post #1)

Spinal Cord Injuries

The Most Widely Used Bedsore Staging System

Following is the staging system that is most widely used to differentiate the condition of pressure sores. It is consistent with the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel and with the International Association for Enterostomal Therapy; thus, we highly recommend it to evaluate a bedridden patient’s condition in regards to developed pressure sores: Stage I Nonblanchable erythema of intact skin; the heralding lesion of skin ulceration. Note: Reactive hyperemia can normally be expected to be present for one half to three fourths as long as the pressure occluded blood flow to the area (Lewis and Grant, 1925). This should not be confused with a Stage I pressure ulcer. Stage II Partial thickness skin loss involving epidermis and/or dermis. The sore is superficial and presents clinically as an abrasion, blister, or shallow crater. Stage III Full thickness skin loss involving damage or necrosis of subcutaneous tissue that may extend down to, but not through, underlying fascia. The sore presents clinically as a deep crater with or without undermining of adjacent tissue. Stage IV Full thickness skin loss with extensive destruction, tissue necrosis or damage to muscle, bone, or supporting structures (for example, tendon or joint capsule). Note: Undermining and sinus tracts may also be associated with Stage IV pressure ulcers. It is crucial to know at what stage the bedsores are to be able to assess the patient’s condition, dangers he or she may face, and the best treatment for his or her specific case. In most cases, life-threatening bedsores, the ones at Stages III and IV, can be prevented and stopped at the first two Stages with prompt and rigorous treatment and with the constant use of devices like the low air loss mattress. Nevertheless, there are two limitations within this staging system: One, it may be difficult to identify Stage I pressure sores in patients with dark pigmentation skin. Two, When there is an eschar (a layer of dead, burned tissue), it is not possible to identify the severe staging of the sore until the eschar peels away or the damaged tissue has been surgically removed. If you liked this article, tell all your friends about it. They’ll thank you for it. If you have a blog or website, you can link to it or even post it to your own site (don’t forget to mention our Pressure Mattress website as the original source). Rachel Clarkson Rachel Clarkson is a bed sores specialist and a big fan and promoter of “The Volkner Turning Mattress”: http://www.Volkner .com  (Jul 31, 2010 | post #1)

Spinal Cord Injuries

5 Most Common Risk Factors of Pressure Sores

There are several factors that have been acknowledged as things that put a person more at risk of developing pressure sores. As soon as a person is spotted as a high-risk individual, certain measures have to be taken to reduce or eliminate the risk of him or her developing bedsores. It is imperative that the care provider, whether it is a nurse or a family member, is knowledgeable about these risk factors in order to be able to prevent the unnecessary and painful development of pressure sores. The risk factors will vary according to the patient’s specific circumstances; nevertheless, this is a list of the 5 most common risk factors: 1. Being confined to a bed, chair, or wheelchair Individuals who are confined to a bed, a chair, or a wheelchair, and who are not able to move by themselves, are at high risk of developing pressure sores extremely fast; in as little as a couple of hours, if the pressure is not relieved regularly. 2. Being unable to change positions without assistance Persons who are in a coma, who are paralyzed, and who are recovering from a hip fracture or other injury that limits mobility, are extremely prone to bed sores. These patients must be moved consistently at regular intervals, and this is very difficult on caregivers, reason why it is imperative to get a pressure mattress to help both the patient and the caretaker. 3. Losing bowel or bladder control People who have to remain in bed for long periods of time or permanently and lose the capacity to control their bladder or bowels are in danger of getting bedsores because the continuous moisture on the skin due to urine, stool, or perspiration can irritate and weaken it. 4. Eating bad, having an imbalanced diet and/or dehydration Pressure sores develop more easily when the body and skin of people who have lost most of their mobility are not adequately nurtured. 5. Losing mental awareness A person who is losing mental awareness may not have enough sensory perception or capacity to take action to prevent the development of pressure sores. If you liked this article, tell all your friends about it. They’ll thank you for it. If you have a blog or website, you can link to it or even post it to your own site (don’t forget to mention our Pressure Mattress website as the original source). If you liked this article, tell all your friends about it. They’ll thank you for it. If you have a blog or website, you can link to it or even post it to your own site (don’t forget to mention our Pressure Mattress website as the original source). Rachel Clarkson Rachel Clarkson is a bed sores specialist and a big fan and promoter of “The Volkner Turning Mattress”: http://www.Volkner .com  (Jul 30, 2010 | post #1)

Spinal Cord Injuries

10 Precautions Care Providers Should, but Often Fail to T...

The majority of pressure sores can be prevented, and the ones that do develop, do not need to get serious or even life threatening. The caregiver has to consider the patient’s special circumstances when creating a care plan to make sure the person does not develop pressure sores that were preventable in the first place. Here we give you a list of the 10 precautions that care providers should, but commonly neglect to oversee to avoid pressure sores: 1. They should make an initial proper, thorough, and methodical assessment of the patient’s risk of developing pressure sores. 2. They must conduct accurate periodical assessments to measure the patient’s risk. 3. They have to bathe the patient well and thoroughly. 4. They should assess and treat the patient’s incontinence condition to make sure that excess moisture on the skin does not cause pressure sores. 5. They have to maintain the patient well hydrated and eating enough and right. 6. They must reposition and move the patient at regular intervals to make sure the pressure is relieved properly. 7. They have to use proper support and moving devices such as a low air loss mattress, to relieve pressure from critical areas. 8. They should take into account postural alignment, weight distribution, balance, stability, and pressure relief when helping the person sit on a chair or wheelchair. 9. They have to use the right lifting devices and techniques to make sure that shear and friction do not cause pressure sores. 10. They must get educated on the best ways to prevent bedsores and find documentation that supports those measures. In essence, every patient is different, and each one will present different conditions or combination of conditions that should guide the creation of the best care plan for him or her. The caregiver should be able to see this uniqueness in order to prevent the patient’s condition from getting worse out of neglect. If you liked this article, tell all your friends about it. They’ll thank you for it. If you have a blog or website, you can link to it or even post it to your own site (don’t forget to mention our Pressure Mattress website as the original source). Rachel Clarkson Rachel Clarkson is a bed sores specialist and a big fan and promoter of “The Volkner Turning Mattress”: http://www.Volkner .com  (Jul 30, 2010 | post #1)

Spinal Cord Injuries

Studies Compare Home Care and Hospital Care

On the past several years there have been numerous concerns over shortages of staff and lack of beds in hospitals nationwide. As an alternative and an answer to the problem, many states, and in fact countries, have developed what is often referred to as “hospital at home” services that provide the same care to patients in a home environment instead of a hospital setting. With the availability of hospital equipment such as hospital beds, a pressure mattress overlay, and the ease of finding qualified at home professional practitioners it has become fairly easy to create a caring and medically sound environment for patients outside of the hospital. In order to determine the quality and validity of such services, studies have been initiated by several organizations to evaluate overall patient health, patient satisfaction and cost savings. Here are some of the results that were recorded. Patients who were recovering from stroke did better in a hospital environment than an at home setting, for the first three months. The study showed a significant reduction in mortality rates, however, after six months for those patients provided with hospital at home care. Overall, patients who were provided with a hospital at home setting for a variety of conditions were far more satisfied than those who remained in hospital. Studies were all in agreement that most people prefer to be cared for outside of a hospital and are more comfortable and satisfied in a home style environment. Other trials noted that fewer patients in a home care setting developed other complications such as bowel or urinary complications. For patients who were suffering with dementia, those who were receiving hospital at home care were less likely to be prescribed antipsychotic drugs. For patients suffering from cellulite, there appeared to be no differences between the hospitalized patients and those receiving hospital at home care. Patients who were being treated for COPD in a hospital at home care were prescribed antibiotics more often than those who were being treated in hospital. The studies showed no significant differences among patients in or out of hospital when looking at their ability to perform day to day functions or in their cognitive abilities. From an economic viewpoint, most hospital at home care programs were less expensive than hospital care. It should be understood that, even with such studies, one should not preclude that hospital care is not as beneficial as home care in every situation, as hospital admittance is often necessary for the overall health of the patient. But where there is the possibility of a patient receiving adequate care in a home style setting, it can be more comfortable, satisfying, and cost effective. It is also worth mentioning that the quality of services and personnel that provide the hospital at home care should be carefully selected and closely monitored, and that a primary care physician be in constant contact with patients and caregivers. It is not enough to merely assume that a patient is always better cared for at home or in a home style environment, than in a hospital. If you liked this article, tell all your friends about it. They’ll thank you for it. If you have a blog or website, you can link to it or even post it to your own site (don’t forget to mention our Pressure Mattress website as the original source). Rachel Clarkson Rachel Clarkson is a bed sores specialist and a big fan and promoter of “The Volkner Turning Mattress”: http://www.Volkner .com  (Jul 28, 2010 | post #1)

Spinal Cord Injuries

What Can a CNA do for Your Loved One?

If you care for a loved one who has mobility problems or who is perhaps, totally bedridden, then you know how important it is to have help with the ongoing tasks of every day care. Many of the health concerns that pose a threat to your loved one can be alleviated with the use of innovative products such as a bariatric mattress, adjustable beds, and sheepskin bedding. Equally valuable, however, is the support and aid of qualified and professional help. A CNA or Certified Nursing Assistant can often be a lifesaver for the overburdened caregiver. Finding such a valuable helper can be a challenge but here are a few pointers that may help. Keep in mind that each state has their own requirements regarding licensing and certification. The title of CNA may even vary from location to location. The best way to be sure you are working with a qualified professional is to ask for proof of certification. The words certified, qualified and licensed are often used interchangeably, so it is very prudent to know how your area handles this issue. While the names may vary, the basic qualifications are the same. This person is neither a Registered Nurse, or a Registered Nurse Practitioner, both of whom has taken more education and is more qualified than a CNA. Although a nursing assistant does not have a say in the actual medical treatment of a patient, they can be a very valuable resource in some of the less medical aspects of care such as bathing, grooming, dressing etc. A CNA will have also had training in the best methods for turning, lifting or moving bedridden patients to ensure good health and comfort. Since this is often one of the most exhausting caregiver tasks, having some help here is well worth the investment. Although not directly involved with the medical side of things, a CNA is adequately trained and knowledgeable enough to be a great liaison between caregivers and professionals. They have received their training within a hospital setting and are familiar with equipment, terms and procedures, as well as medical terms and conditions that may be confusing to the average person. A qualified nursing assistant can also help with such tasks changing dressings, monitoring vital signs, and recording any changes in condition. In addition, they can also help with changing linens, observing the condition of equipment and keeping an eye on the overall well being of the patient. Their training and experience makes them alert to little things that might otherwise go unnoticed. The presence of a nursing assistant is a great aid as well to the registered nurse and physician in charge of a patient because they are free to concentrate on the most important aspects of your loved ones care. If you are caring for a bedridden patient at home, a CNA can truly be an extra set of eyes, ears and hands to help relieve caregiver stress and increase patient comfort. If you liked this article, tell all your friends about it. They’ll thank you for it. If you have a blog or website, you can link to it or even post it to your own site (don’t forget to mention our Pressure Mattress website as the original source). Rachel Clarkson Rachel Clarkson is a bed sores specialist and a big fan and promoter of “The Volkner Turning Mattress”: http://www.Volkner .com  (Jul 26, 2010 | post #1)

Spinal Cord Injuries

6 Common Health Risks of the Bedridden Patient

If you are the caregiver for a person who is confined to a wheelchair or bed you already know how vulnerable they are to certain health risks. By utilizing the many services and products available today such as air pressure mattresses most of these conditions can be alleviated or prevented altogether. It is always wise to be aware of the health risks and alert to controlling them before they become life threatening. Here are 6 common conditions that caregivers should take care to keep a watchful eye on. Bedsores One of the most significant risks to the bedridden patient is the development of bedsores. These lesions can develop and progress very rapidly in the patient who remains in the same position for too long. Constant pressure on certain areas of the body decreases the amount of blood flow to those spots and friction increases resulting in damage to the skin. Eventually the flesh actually dies and the lesions can become quite deep, even to the point of infecting the surrounding bone and muscle. By using an alternating pressure mattress which turns the patient on a regular basis, theses sores can be prevented. Pulmonary congestion Patients who are confined to bed and are unable to turn themselves are susceptible to several other serious conditions as well, one of the most significant being pneumonia and pulmonary congestion. If the patient cannot turn themselves and remain immobile, pulmonary secretions can build up and become a threat to the patient’s health. With the automatic gentle turning provided by a pressure mattress system, the secretions are loosened and do not build up. Spinal column pressure The gentle turning of the patient with a pressure mattress also helps to reduce the occurrence of back pain that can be caused by constant pressure on the spinal column. This greatly increases patient comfort and overall well being. Sleep problems If you’ve ever slept on a bad mattress you can fully understand the importance of comfort to a good night’s sleep. If a patient is unable to move themselves, the body becomes extremely stiff and uncomfortable, resulting in disrupted sleep. With the constant gentle turning provided by an air pressure mattress, the patient is able to have a solid nights rest which ultimately helps improve overall physical and emotional health. Loss of appetite Lack of movement and stimulation can quickly lead to a loss of appetite which can in turn result in very poor nutrition. Providing adequate stimulation can help to prevent the patient from losing interest in food. Bedridden patients should be provided with a variety of activities such as music, movies, reading, puzzles, social interaction and conversation. Food should be interesting and appealing even if the patient is unable to feed themselves. Depression If other conditions such as a lack of social activity, loss of appetite and lack of sleep are allowed to persist, the bedridden or wheel chair confined patient can also become unresponsive and depressed. This can be avoided by ensuring that the patient receives proper care and attention to the personal needs, both physical and emotional. If you liked this article, tell all your friends about it. They’ll thank you for it. If you have a blog or website, you can link to it or even post it to your own site (don’t forget to mention our Pressure Mattress website as the original source). Rachel Clarkson Rachel Clarkson is a bed sores specialist and a big fan and promoter of “The Volkner Turning Mattress”: http://www.Volkner .com  (Jul 24, 2010 | post #1)

Spinal Cord Injuries

Nutritional Supplements and Pressure Sores

Clinical studies are beginning to show that development of pressure sores in hospitalized patients can often be reduced or even prevented by the addition of nutritional supplements to the patient’s diet. This new treatment along with innovative technology such as that found in the latest mattress overlay can hopefully make bedsores a thing of the past. This is welcome news for patients and caretakers alike who deal with the threat of this condition every day. A study out of Israel observed the results of supplementing bedridden patients with certain fatty acids as well vitamins A, C, and E. The patients were already hospitalized for serious lung injury and were beginning to develop pressure sores. For the purposes of the study, 100 patients were chosen to receive either the standard hospital diet or the standard hospital diet supplemented with fatty acids and the vitamins. At the end of the study, which lasted seven days, the number of ulcers increased to 24 in the group of patients who were receiving the regular diet but only 15 new pressure sores appeared in the group that had had supplements added to their diet. Vitamin C has long been recognized for its healing effects on the skin, especially as it helps to heal broken capillaries and reduce bruising. Vitamin E has also been touted for having many benefits related to skin health such as prevention of dry skin and slowing of the aging process. Direct application of Vitamin E is also believed by many to greatly reduce the appearance of scar tissue and stretch marks. Vitamin A is used in various forms to alleviate acne symptoms and outbreaks and is also used in many skin creams. With these benefits for skin health already acknowledged in other areas, it only makes sense that the addition of them to a regular diet would help in reducing the occurrence of a skin condition such as pressure sores. Researchers believe that the reason for the improvement lies in the way that the fatty acids interrupt the inflammatory response that the body naturally sets in motion in response to serious injury. They also concluded from their observations, that data was not significant enough on its own to prove the thesis, but only suggested that it had definite possibilities, and should be analyzed further. At the present time, there are no official clinical guidelines for administering nutritional supplements as a direct treatment for the prevention of bedsores. Organizations that monitor medical treatment practice will revisit studies such as this one to keep current with any and all ways to improve the quality of treatment for this condition. Obviously anytime a diet is improved with proper supplements and vitamins, it can only be helpful to a patient’s overall health, and this is basically what can be taken away from studies such as these. Other dietary recommendations that professionals agree should be followed in the treatment of pressure sores include drinking plenty of water and including plenty of anti-oxidant rich fruits and vegetables. If you liked this article, tell all your friends about it. They’ll thank you for it. If you have a blog or website, you can link to it or even post it to your own site (don’t forget to mention our Pressure Mattress website as the original source). Rachel Clarkson Rachel Clarkson is a bed sores specialist and a big fan and promoter of “The Volkner Turning Mattress”: http://www.Volkner .com  (Jun 29, 2010 | post #1)

Spinal Cord Injuries

Create Patient Comfort with Sheepskin and Organic Cotton

Comfort and prevention of pressure sores are of utmost important to maintaining good health for bedridden patients or those with restricted mobility. One of the best ways to provide the best in comfort is to provide the patient with an alternating pressure mattress that ensures regular movement and change of position to reduce stress on various body parts that might be susceptible to bedsores. In addition to these innovative mattresses, the bedding and other accessories you use can enhance their comfort level even further. One of the almost luxurious items that a caregiver might consider for a bedridden patient is a set of organic cotton sheets. Organic cotton is extremely soft and chemical free which is a real plus for sensitive skin. Organic cotton, unlike synthetics and polyesters, is also more effective at absorbing moisture from the body which is a very important aid in preventing bedsores. Other accessories which can also increase patient comfort are made from all natural sheepskin. In previous years, sheepskin was not used as extensively due to its inability to absorb enough moisture and be disinfected properly. Today, new developments in the product have solved these issues and sheepskin is being widely used in hospitals and rest homes everywhere. Like organic cotton, wool sheepskin is hypoallergenic which means it too is very gentle on sensitive skin. In addition, the sheepskin also contains natural oils which also aid in good skin health. The soft, springy coils of wool create a cushion that conforms to the body part that it comes in contact with thus reducing friction. And, although to look at sheepskin, it appears as though it would make a person warm, the opposite is actually true. The density of the sheepskin allows air to circulate continuously between the fibers, and as a result, everything stays very cool. This natural temperature control means patients sweat less and as a result, the skin remains much drier. Sheepskin can actually absorb up to 33% of its original weight without feeling wet. Keeping the skin cool and dry is the first step in preventing the breakdown of skin tissue. There are many products available in sheepskin that are used in the care of those who are bedridden or confined to a wheelchair, that provide relief and support for specific areas. For example, there are sheepskin boots and slippers to protect the heels, overlay that go on top of a mattress, and seat cushions and backs for placing in wheel chairs. When purchasing sheepskin products for home care of a bedridden patient, be sure to keep and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for washing and drying the product. Sheepskin can shrink or get very matted if not washed properly. It is generally recommended that you use only a product designed specifically for cleaning medical sheepskin. Many of the best ones contain tea tree oil which is a natural disinfectant. Air drying is recommended for sheepskin as an electric dryer will be too hot and will shrink the fibers. If you liked this article, tell all your friends about it. They’ll thank you for it. If you have a blog or website, you can link to it or even post it to your own site (don’t forget to mention our Pressure Mattress website as the original source). Rachel Clarkson Rachel Clarkson is a bed sores specialist and a big fan and promoter of “The Volkner Turning Mattress”: http://www.Volkner .com  (Jun 22, 2010 | post #1)

Spinal Cord Injuries

How to Use Simple ROM Exercises to Help Prevent Bedsores

Even when a bedridden patient is comfortable and constantly repositioned with a bariatric mattress, working with them to apply ROM, or “range of motion “ exercises, can increase their comfort level even further as well as helping to improve circulation and keep joints flexible. ROM exercises can be done at home by a caregiver once they have been properly instructed in the technique, or by a trained therapist who comes to your home. ROM exercises are generally referred to as either active or passive. Totally immobile patients, who face the threat of pressure sores, will be in need of passive ROMs, meaning they are unable to perform the exercises themselves. In less severe cases, where there is still some mobility, the exercises are more active-assisted, meaning the patient and a caregiver work at them together. Consultation between the patient, caretaker, and health care professional are vital to creating the best possible program for each individual. For those caring for bedridden patients, the idea of performing a therapeutic exercise routine can seem overwhelming and frightening. With the proper training, however, it can become a very positive and rewarding experience for both caregiver and patient. Here are a few hints to help you get started. • Learn how to do the exercises from a qualified professional, and practice on them before doing the exercises with your patient. • Position the bed height so it is comfortable for you without straining your back, arms or other muscles. Stand or sit as straight as possible and pay attention to your breathing, keeping it deep and steady. Keep your hips in a straight line under your shoulders and try to keep your stomach muscles tight. • Be sure to lock the wheels of the bed or wheelchair in place to avoid accident or injury. • Begin slowly and work the muscles and joints gently. Pay attention to your patient’s comfort to avoid pain by forcing or jerking muscles and joints. Stop if you sense that the exercises are causing pain. • Move the joint only to the point of no resistance, that is, to the point where you can’t bend it any further. • Try to make the exercise a part of the daily routine, and at a time that is convenient and unhurried for both of you. • Start the exercises at the top of the head and work down to the toes. When you are finished the entire body will be relaxed and comfortable. • Doing the exercises in the same order every day will help make the regime easier to remember and make the routine flow more smoothly. • Always follow the exercise program that has been set out by your doctor or health care professional. Changing or eliminating parts of the program could result in the loss of effectiveness and leave your loved one vulnerable to pain, discomfort and injury. • Keep a positive attitude during the routine and be as encouraging and supportive as possible. • When the exercise routine is over be sure to leave the individual in a comfortable and relaxed position. If you liked this article, tell all your friends about it. They’ll thank you for it. If you have a blog or website, you can link to it or even post it to your own site (don’t forget to mention our Pressure Mattress website as the original source). Rachel Clarkson Rachel Clarkson is a bed sores specialist and a big fan and promoter of “The Volkner Turning Mattress”: http://www.Volkner .com  (Jun 21, 2010 | post #1)

Spinal Cord Injuries

Home Remedy Tips to Help Prevent Bedsores

Along with providing the proper alternating pressure mattress and providing diligent care of the patient, early detection is one of the best means of preventing serious incidents of pressure sore development. Once a patient’s daily routine and situation is well established, a secondary treatment regime to consider is application of a few simple home remedies to further enhance the patient’s care. Naturally, you should always consult with your health care professional before beginning any kind of treatment, but if you have a loved one who is bedridden and at risk of developing pressure sores, here are a few home remedies that may help: Aloe Vera Aloe Vera is an all natural and very gentle cleanser for wounds that soothes irritated skin and helps promote healing. Aloe Vera is readily available as a gel or cream in pharmacies and department stores. Aloe can also be taken directly from the leaves of an aloe plant that can be grown indoors. Honey Some people believe that dressing a small pressure sore with a bandage coated with raw honey helps to remove toxins from the wound and promote healing. Natural honey contains many natural healing elements and has been used in home medicine for centuries. Papaya Milk Applying a compress soaked in papaya milk is believed to help the formation of new skin and speed the sloughing off of dead skin around the wound. Vitamins Additional supplements of vitamins A, C, D should be added to the diet in proper amounts for the patient according to their health and underlying conditions. Moisturizing creams that contain Vitamin E should be applied to the body to keep the skin healthy and supple. Fiber A diet rich in fiber helps skin cells to reproduce and thus help in the healing process. The repair of broken down tissue and muscle is far more efficient when the diet is rich in fiber dense foods such as beans, lentils, bran and plenty of fruits. Comfrey Leaves and Elm Homeopathic remedies may help in the treatment of pressure sores, but should never be used without the guidance of a knowledgeable health care professional. Common homeopathic treatments include compresses made from equal parts slippery elm and comfrey leaf powder that are applied to the sore overnight. Water Staying hydrated is vital to good health at all times, but is especially important for the bedridden or wheel chair confined patient who is susceptible to pressure sores. Dry skin increases the potential for skin irritation and slows the body’s ability to heal. Patients should be encouraged to drink six to eight glasses of water per day. Beverages containing caffeine such as coffee, tea and cola should be limited as they can increase the chance of dehydration. Massage and Movement Gentle massage is not only relaxing and soothing for the patient who can’t get up and move around, it also helps improve blood circulation for better skin health. Helping the patient to change position regularly is also imperative for the prevention of pressure sores and the patients comfort in general. If you liked this article, tell all your friends about it. They’ll thank you for it. If you have a blog or website, you can link to it or even post it to your own site (don’t forget to mention our Pressure Mattress website as the original source). Rachel Clarkson Rachel Clarkson is a bed sores specialist and a big fan and promoter of “The Volkner Turning Mattress”: http://www.Volkner .com  (Jun 20, 2010 | post #1)