What is happening to the United Kingdom? We used to be leaders in the medical side and used to be known for our compassion and high quality care.
I am receiving an alarming number of letters stating that the relatives are too scared to complain about the care their loved ones are receiving in care homes just in case it makes the situation worse!!
And on the other side many relatives are left in care homes with nobody to even visit them let alone provide new clothes and take them out for a day.
A shocking number of patients are mistreated and are left to lie in their own excrement. Bed sores are on the increase where there is no need for it.
Prevention is far better and cheaper than cure.
Some tips I would like to pass on to those who are nursing the elderly and infirm.
Avoid bed sores and weakening of the skin by:
- Turning the patient from side to side every 2 hours.
- Use a good quality pressure cushion (we recommend you look at www.healthandcare.co.uk) These are specialists in pressure care.
- Don’t use synthetic fleece as these fibers can cause excessive sweating and they do not absorb the sweat, leaving the patient’s sweat to manifest and attack the skin.
- Make sure your patient is dry and free from urine and faeces at ALL times.
- If the patient is sitting relieve the pressure in the heels of the foot by filling a latex glove (make sure they are not allergic to latex first) tie a knot in the glove and place under the heels. This will relieve the pressure.
- Gently rub any pressures areas to keep blood circulating.
- Treat any signs of skin breakage immediately. Keep the area clean and dry. (www.healthandcare.co.uk has some good natural creams. www.incostress.com has a range of creams suitable for skin conditions.
- Ensure your patient has a good healthy diet to keep the body nourished to be able to fight infection.
Bed sores lead to necrosis which leads to amputation. DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOUR PATIENTS
Causes of Amputation in Nursing Homes
Amputation of a limb can result from several different conditions. Here are a few of the more common causes:
•Decubitus Ulcers (bed sores) – Also known as pressure sores or bed sores. The area can become infected within hours which if the patient has limited mobility can lead to amputation or in some cases death.
- Diabetics. These patients should be on your red alert list as wounds are more difficult to heal with a diabetic and they are more prone to infection than other patients.
- Diabetics can suffer from a minor cut becoming and amputation if not treated properly and timely
- There is an increased number of diabetic nursing home residents being treated for ulcers.
Trauma – Inadequate supervision or assistance can result in falls.
Bone fractures have gone unnoticed leading to advanced infection and amputation.
Many cases of thermal trauma (burns and frostbite) have also been reported all these things cause infection if left untreated.
Are you nursing in a care home? Ask yourself if you really are giving the best care to those in your care. If you can answer yes then read no further and well done for looking after people who can’t look after themselves.
If the answer is no! You can change this today.
If you see another member of staff you believe who is not looking after their patients to the highest standard care you are just as guilty for not reporting this or doing something about it.
One day you may be one of those patients.