Pressure ulcer prevention devices
Pressure ulcer prevention - what’s the best treatment option?
Pressure ulcers can affect anyone - by staying in one position for too long can greatly increase your chances of getting this condition. However, with the right approach and reliable pressure ulcer prevention devices, you don’t have to worry!
What are pressure ulcers?
Pressure ulcers, also known as pressure sores, are areas of damaged skin caused by pressure being exerted for too long. This condition is commonly seen around the ankles, elbows, heels and back, as the skin in these areas is closest to protruding bones. This is common among elderly people in hospices and nursing homes who are bedridden or do not move.
Although associated with elderly people, even young athletes who are bedridden or are paralyzed can experience pressure ulcers. This condition has a 4 stage development and can be treated if noticed in the earliest stages. During the first stage, the affected area will be noticeable red, feel warm to the touch and may itch or burn. During this stage, preventing pressure ulcers is fairly easy, by keeping the skin clean, changing the affected person’s position, and using ulcer prevention devices, such as pillows and foam protectors.
The second stage is more visible and the ulcer is seen as either a cut or blister. Cleaning the area and disinfecting it, moving the patient to prevent pressure, as well as applying ulcer prevention devices will help revert the effects. However, caution should be taken, as the wound is more painful for the sufferer. If the wound is not treated, it will proceed into the third stage, which involves more damage to the affected area. The wound is more prominent and resembles a crater. At this stage, tissues below the skin are significantly damaged.
The fourth and final stage of a pressure ulcer is the most serious. At this stage, pressure ulcer prevention is not possible, as the condition has spread significantly. The sores are very deep and often reveal bones, muscles, tendons and joints, all of which are greatly susceptible to infection at this point. Dead giveaways of infection of the pressure ulcers are often swelling around the affected area, a bad odor, yellowish pus and redness in the surrounding areas. If the infection has spread to other parts of the body, the sufferer may experience symptoms such as chills, weakness, visible confusion and fever.
The best method of ulcer prevention is to avoid staying in one position for long periods of time as well as using ulcer prevention devices. If you have difficulty moving, a health care professional should help. Aside from this, maintaining a proper skin care routine is vital - regular washing, drying and applying lotion is essential in order to keep the skin nourished and help prevent pressure ulcers.
How do ulcer prevention devices work?
Pressure ulcer prevention devices can be used to prevent ulcers, as well as reduce them. Products such as wheelchair cushions, reaching devices, specialized mattress foam, seat cushions, as well as heel, foot, elbow neck and hand protectors are suitable for preventing and reducing pressure sores in certain or all parts of the body. You can find our entire store catalogue with ulcer preventing devices here.
These devices help prevent pressure ulcers by absorbing pressure in certain parts of the body, however, that doesn’t mean you ought to rely solely on such devices. The sufferer must also maintain good posture, have a healthy diet and maintain good hygienic practices. If ulcers are present, they must be cleaned and disinfected properly and be covered in a bandage or a dressing in order to prevent further infection.
What are the types of ulcer prevention devices?
As mentioned previously, there are a number of specially designed products that have pressure ulcer prevention properties, depending on which part of the body is affected. Since the most susceptible areas of the body are the hips, ankles, elbows, wrists and back, there are pressure preventing devices for all of these. These products can be used whether you’re bedridden, make use of a wheelchair, or have partial paralysis, and help to evenly distribute body pressure in a way that helps to prevent and treat pressure ulcers. Prior to purchasing a product, speak with your doctor and ask which option is best for treating your condition.
Frequently asked questions - FAQ
1. How often should I make use of a pressure ulcer product?
No matter which product you choose, it should be used throughout your entire recovery process.
2. I have pressure ulcers on my back - what is the best option for me?
For people with back ulcers, we often recommend a bed protection pad or anti-bedsore sheet, however, it is vital that you first speak with a health care specialist prior to making a purchase.
3. How much do these products cost?
Prices tend to vary based on the model you choose and indications. Products range in price from $15 to well over a hundred.