Pressure Cushions And Treating Pressure Sores
Pressure sores, also known as pressure ulcers or bed sores, are sores within the skin that cause damage to the skin and underlying tissue. The damage is caused by constant pressure or friction being applied to a part of the body. The extra pressure causes a disruption to the blood flow and without the blood supply, the area becomes starved of oxygen and nutrients. This injury quickly develops for people who have reduced mobility such as wheelchair users or people who are confined to a bed or chair.
If you are a wheelchair user, confined to a bed or chair or have reduced mobility, your risk of getting pressure sores are higher. The areas where pressure ulcers will appear are areas where the body has less fat, so in bony areas like elbows, hip bones, tail bone, shoulder blades, or the back of your arms and legs. Some of the symptoms you should look out for are red, purple or blue torn skin, swelling, parts of the skin that feels warmer/colder than other areas or unusual texture. If you notice any of these symptoms, medical professionals advise that if you are bed ridden or in a wheelchair for a prolonged period of time you should move position as frequently as every 15 minutes. If you don’t see any improvement within 24-48hrs, you should contact your doctor and if you notice any sign of infection such as a fever, a sore that smells or a sore with increased redness, warmth or swelling, you should seek immediate medical advice.
One of the treatments medical professional will prescribe to patients with pressure sores are pressure cushions. These cushions come in different types and are described depending on the level of pressure sores you have. The foam cushions will treat people who are At Risk of getting pressure sores or are at Medium Risk, which means their skin has a discolouration of usually red, blue or purple, a small amount of skin loss or skin damage involving the top layer of the skin. This level of risk is treated with foam cushions like the Memaflex or Air Layer cushions. The Memaflex pressure cushion is a redistribution memory foam cushion designed for medium risk patients and features a waterproof and vapour permeable cover that cools you down and reduces perspiration. The Air-Layer cushion features a block of visco foam that conforms to the patient’s bottom, redistributing pressure with a breathable layer to reduce heat transfer.
High Risk and Very High Risk patients are usually treated by gel cushions like the Serenade or the Funke cushion. The Serenade consists of both foam and gel with its three layer design. The bottom layer is made of foam, middle is gel and the top layer is foam. The middle layer of silicone gel reduces the pressure put on the buttocks and provides comfort. The Funke gel cushion offers optimised therapy to patients by releasing pressure with a grid formation that supports the pressurised areas by folding to relieve them.
The ‘No Risk’ level mean that the patient is not at any risk of getting pressure sores but just need to be provided with more comfort when in their chair. The common comfort cushion can be used by these patients as they are not designed to treat pressure sores. Theses cushions are made with viscous gel providing extra support and comfort.
It is recommended that if you are in a bed/wheelchair you should change your position as often as every 15 minutes to stop constant pressure building up on one area. A Nurse or OT may give you advice on how to correct your positions, equipment you can use, how to sit and lay down correctly, different dressings they/you can put on yours sores to protect them and speed up the healing. Increasing nutrients in the diet like protein, zinc and vitamin C in your diet can increase any healing to pressure sores too. Antibiotics, creams and ointments prescribed by a medical profession can also help to speed up the healing and prevent further damage to the skin and tissue. For patients that use a pressure care mattress which also can be recommended by a medical professional.
Pressure sores, if not treated correctly can result in bone and joint infections, blood poisoning, gangrene or cellulitis so immediate treatment is recommended to prevent any incline in health issues.
Should you have any of the mentioned symptoms, we advise you to seek medical advice as soon as possible.
For any more information on pressure cushion, you can contact us (0818) 277 496 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.