Significance Of Support Surfaces For The Treatment
One of the most common medical issues in nursing home patients is the occurrence of pressure sores or ulcers. Once a pressure sore has started, they can quickly become a serious, painful infection that can even cause death in these patients. Prevention is the best option and one tool that homes can use is specialized support surfaces.
One of the causes of pressure sores is the friction between a patient and the surface they are on, whether it is their bed or a wheelchair. Friction, combined with excess moisture and heat and constant pressure is the breeding ground in which most of these sores start. Using specialized surfaces that eliminate the friction and also allow air to flow around the patient can help greatly decrease the likelihood of nursing home patients getting pressure sores. There are different groups of these mattresses depending on the needs of the patient.
In a 6-month studyof pressure relieving support surface mattresses with patients with pressure sores or were at high-risk, 94% of the patients had positive results with no pain and increased comfort. In 73% of the patients with existing pressure sores, they were able to heal in an average of 18 days.
Repositioning and chair support for immobile patients Even with the use of the correct support surface, patients who are immobile still need to be moved or repositioned often. These beds are only meant to help maximize the air flow and keep friction to a minimum. Any surface can cause a pressure sore in certain patients if they are allowed to stay in the same position for hours at a time.This goes for chairs as well. Nursing homes need to make sure wheelchairs and other seats are well padded and have adequate support. They also need to be aware of the duration that a patient has been sitting for as a sore can begin or worsen in a short amount of time.Cost is always a consideration in nursing homes and may attribute to why the correct support surfaces are not always used. Although some of these devices are more expensive than traditional mattresses, they can reduce the amount of pressure sores obtained and help speed the recovery from them. The quality of life gained and the reduction in continued medical care should be enough to outweigh the costs.