10 simple tips to prevent bedsores
Following road traffic accidents, strokes, amputations or some other surgeries are few of the common causes to make people bed bound. One of the miserable condition that these bed bound people have to face is the risk of developing bed sores. Prevention of bed sores is much better than treating. Sometimes these people suffer bed sores more than due to their actual medical condition.
Position changes are key to preventing pressure sores. These changes need to be frequent, repositioning needs to avoid stress on the skin, and body positions need to minimize pressure on vulnerable areas.
When there are wrinkles on the contact surface, it applies relatively a high pressure to the body which ultimately lead to an ulceration. These are the simple measures that can reduce the risk of developing bedsores.
- Reposition yourself frequently in a bed. Change your body position every two hours. If you use a wheelchair, try shifting your weight about every 15 minutes. Ask for help with repositioning about once an hour.
- Clean the skin with mild soap and warm water. Use talcum powder to protect skin vulnerable to excess moisture.
- Watch for buttons on the clothing and wrinkles in the bedding that irritate the skin. Change bedding and clothing frequently. Wear cotton clothes.
- Inspect the skin daily to identify vulnerable areas or early signs of pressure sores.
- If you have urinary or bowel incontinence, wear a nappy & change it frequently. Apply lotion/cologne to dry skin.
- Your cushion- Select a cushion/ specialized mattress (foam, gel, water filled and air filled ) that help with positioning, relieving pressure and protecting vulnerable areas to protect bony areas.
- Nutrition- Choose a healthy diet. You may need to increase the amount of calories, protein, vitamins and minerals in your diet. You may be advised to take dietary supplements, such as vitamin C and zinc which are important in wound healing.
- Hydration- Drink enough to keep the skin hydrated. Good hydration is important for maintaining healthy skin.
- If you smoke, quit.
- Daily exercise matched to your abilities can help maintain healthy skin as well as to prevent muscle wasting.
Dr. Yapa Wijeratne