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How to Help Your Patients Avoid Pressure Injuries

Posted by / April 29, 2019 / Categories: Inside Recliners, Occupational Therapy

Pressure Injuries are one of the most common problems faced by patients forced to remain seated or supine for long periods of time. Follow these steps to help minimise the risk of pressure injuries in your patients.

When patients are seated for lengthy periods of time, they are at risk of developing pressure injuries. These can caused by compression (when pressure is placed on the same area for a lengthy period of time) or shear (when there is friction on the skin from external forces pulling in opposite directions). In both cases, blood is prevented from passing through the tissue, depriving it of vital nutrients.

In order to help ensure your patients do not develop pressure injuries, there are a number of steps you can take.

Alter Position

You can help redirect blood to different areas of the body by regularly altering a patient’s position. (Every 2 hours according to NICE guidelines). There are three main ways in which you can do this: you can adjust the support cushions around their back and legs, use the Tilt in Space feature to lift the legs and encourage blood flow through the pelvic areas, or raise the footrest to take pressure of the backs of the thighs. If your patient is able to do so you should also encourage them to adjust their position every 15 minutes or so.  Finally, be aware that some of the adjustments may require that you ask the patient to leave their chair for a short time.  If this is the case, ensure that you are following correct procedure when transferring them from their chair.

Nutrition

It may not be the first thing we think of when it comes to avoiding pressure injuries, but ensuring that your patient maintains a healthy diet can help improve the quality of their skin and improve resilience to compression or shear. Obesity is a major factor in pressure injuries, so helping a patient keep their weight down may have a significant effect. Foods high in Vitamin D such as eggs and fatty fish can help strengthen skin. Most importantly, your patients should remain hydrated to maintain skin condition.

Choose the Right Chair

So many patients could significantly reduce their chances of pressure injuries by finding a more suitable chair. At Recliners we have a complete range of specialist chairs to suit all types of condition and situation, from bariatric patients to those with restricted movement and from hospital care to domestic living. Many of our chairs come with adjustable cushions, foot rests and Tilt in Space functionality, as well as being upholstered with breathable materials. We can also build bespoke chairs to meet individual needs.

See our range of chairs here.

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