Repositioning in Wheelchair Prevents Pressure Sores

Nursing home / hospital staff are required to turn and reposition patients in wheelchairs. Recently, the Mayo Clinic came out with tips on how to prevent pressure sores in wheelchair-bound patients. These helpful tips can prevent skin breakdown and avoid decubitus ulcer infection (what is a decubitus ulcer?)

Here are the preventative steps to stop pressure sores in wheelchairs:
Repositioning in a wheelchair
Repositioning in a wheelchair includes the following recommendations:

Frequency. People using a wheelchair should change position as much as possible on their own every 15 minutes and should have assistance with changes in position every hour.

Self-care. If you have enough strength in your upper body, you can do wheelchair push-ups — raising your body off the seat by pushing on the arms of the chair.

Specialized wheelchairs. Pressure-release wheelchairs, which tilt to redistribute pressure, provide some assistance in repositioning and pressure relief.

Cushions. Various cushions — including foam, gel, and water- or air-filled cushions — can relieve pressure and help ensure that the body is appropriately positioned in the chair. A physical therapist can advise on the appropriate placement of cushions and their role in regular repositioning.

Click here for more information about decubitus ulcers.

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