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Pressure Ulcers

Pressure ulcers (also known as bedsores), can result from prolonged immobility. They are also referred to as "skin breakdown." Not only is skin breakdown uncomfortable for the patient, but it can also lead to infection and other undesirable outcomes. Our skin breakdown rate is below the national average.


What we do to reduce pressure ulcers
 
We have implemented a skin-breakdown reduction program which includes state-of-the-art beds, an effective assessment and prevention program, and early post-surgery ambulation.

What you can do to reduce pressure ulcers

If permitted by your physician, nurse or physical therapist, you should:

Change positions frequently. If you are confined to your bed, this means you should lift your buttocks off the mattress. You can accomplish this by grabbing the bars over your head to support your upper body weight. Do this three to four times every two hours. You may also turn from side to side in bed but only if your physician has given you permission to do so.

Maintain a balanced diet. Well-nourished patients heal more quickly.

Make sure that bony prominences such as buttocks, heels and elbows remain dry.

Keep your skin hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Hydrated skin resists breakdown.

Report any changes in your medical condition to your physician, nurse or therapist.

If you develop pain or discomfort in an area other than your incision, inform a member of your health care team immediately.

Do not smoke before admission. Smoking constricts blood vessels, reducing the flow of oxygenated blood to the skin and the removal of waste products. Studies have shown that smokers are more likely to develop pressure ulcers and that smokers who get pressure ulcers do not heal as quickly. Reducing skin breakdown is just one of the reasons why we encourage patients to stop smoking before surgery.