Caring for a bed bound patient(preventing pressure sores)

Hospital_Bed

Image by NoXstar via Flickr

Caring for a loved one who is bed bound can be a challenging task,especially if you are unfamiliar with the level of care that is needed.

One of the first things to consider is what type of bed your loved one will be using.You can perform all of the necessary duties in a regular bed,but it is far easier and safer if you use a hospital bed.Many times insurance will cover purchasing costs,but always check to make sure.Using a pressure reducing mattress helps to reduce the occurrence of pressure ulcers.Talk to your loved ones’ doctor to see what he recommends.Make sure you have plenty of pillows available as they will be used to help position your loved one and to help reduce bed sores.

If your loved one is completely immobile you must be sure to reposition them every 2 hours,alternating between right and left sides and flat on the back.This helps with circulation and also can prevent pressure sores from forming.The easiest way to do this is to cross their arms at the chest,move one leg over the other and with one hand at the hip and the other at the shoulder push gently until they are on their side.You can tuck a pillow behind their back to help them from rolling back.Place another pillow between the knees   to prevent the knees from touching and one under the ankle that is touching the bed.

You should inspect the skin at least once a day,preferably twice, to ensure that pressure ulcers are not forming.Pay special attention to the bony parts of the body-back of the head,elbows,ankles,heels,hips, and the lower back just above  the tailbone.You should look for any areas of redness that do not go away when their  position is changed.If this happens you should consult a doctor as he can implement a plan of care to treat the area.

Keeping the skin dry is a must.Damp or sweaty skin can accelerate the formation of pressure sores,so pay close attention to areas that may perspire such as the feet and  neck.

The following is a video that gives more information about pressure sores and their prevention.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfuafCEt6Pg&feature=related

Quality care and using the correct items can help to ensure that your loved one is comfortable and wound free.

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