Care recipient (cr) who is immobile or partially paralyzed is at risk for developing pressure sores a condition that can easily worsen and become life-threatening

Try: #a cr who is immobile or has paralysis should change positions or be repositioned every two hours while in bed so his or her body weight doesn’t put pressure on the same area of skin long enough for the skin to start breaking down reposition the cr in a regular pattern for example from resting on the left side to resting on the back from resting on the back to resting on the right side and from resting on the right side to resting on the left side again this gives each side and the back a break for four hours use rolled-up towels to lift a leg or support a side to keep the cr in place #do not let the weight of an elbow heel or ankle rest directly on a towel or the bed as bones so close to the skin can easily create pressure leading to sores instead support a heel for example by placing a rolled-up towel under the leg close to the foot #place a folded towel between the cr’s knees or ankles to keep them from rubbing when the cr is lying on a side #protect the cr’s hipbones from putting pressure on the skin covering them by putting a foam mattress pad on the mattress #if the cr uses a wheelchair remind the cr or assist the cr to change positions in the chair at least once an hour if the cr is forgetful set a timer a cr with paralysis from the waist down will often develop sores because he or she doesn’t feel the twinges of discomfort that normally tell a person it’s time to change positions #make sure the cr drinks plenty of non-caffeinated drinks #moisturize the cr’s skin with alcohol-free lotions paying special attention to the skin covering the cr’s joints #inspect the cr’s skin frequently looking for changes in the skin and any spot that stays red even after pressure is removed from it a red spot or area requires immediate attention begin by keeping pressure off the spot and monitor it until the redness is gone #never rub a red area even when putting lotion over it #an ulcer may also first be noticed as a white spot a blister an open sore or a black spot where skin is breaking down #if a spot begins to enlarge change color or open into a sore seek medical treatment pressure sores also called decubitous ulcers or bed sores can rapidly grow to be life-threatening

Materials: Towels foam mattress pad skin moisturizer water or other fluids timer if needed

Categories: Medical Physical, Mobility, Needs Much Assistance, Immobile, Independence, Maximum Supervision

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*This information is listed as a Tip and is not explicitly medically licensed

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