|When you are very sick, you are prone to have skin breakdown
wherever the weight of your body presses into the bed. You are at greatest risk if you move very little or you are in bed
or in a chair for a long time, especially if you also have been losing weight. Ordinary pressure on the skin as you sit or
move across sheets may be enough to tear or breakdown your skin. It is worth a great deal of effort to keep skin well-protected;
skin breakdown is uncomfortable, a major indignity, and costly.
Protecting Your Skin
Change position at least every two hours. If you are in bed and comfortable
in most positions, it is good to lie on one side, then your back, then the other side. Have a skilled nurse show your family
members how to help you shift positions comfortably.
Use pillows to protect the common pressure points, which are under
the heels and elbows and between the knees.
Apply gentle massage with moisturizing lotion or cream to the back, arms,
ears, hands, legs, and feet.
If you are at great risk for skin breakdown, you may want to get a special "flotation"
bed, which can be rented for home use.
If you or your family notices reddened or broken skin on pressure points, call
your doctor or nurse immediately. You may need special medications, dressings, or bed accessories (such as soft pads or heel
protectors) to provide added skin protection.
(NOTE: The skin care specialists advised us that the use of pillows or like
devices are good before any skin breakdown HOWEVER once the skin has started to break down these can cause further damage
as the pillow itself can apply pressure from the weight of the body part you are trying to protect/Jean.)