Q:

Can pressure ulcers be prevented in nursing homes?

A:

Quick Answer

The prevention of pressure sores in nursing homes is possible by turning the patient every two hours and keeping the area dry if the patient soils himself, according to the American Cancer Society. After a patients soils himself, the nursing home must clean the area, apply ointment and sprinkle cornstarch on top of the ointment.

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Full Answer

Another thing that a nursing home must do to prevent bed sores is to keep the sheets tight to prevent wrinkling, explains the American Cancer Society. The head of the bed must also sit at a 30-degree angle or less. To reduce friction between the skin and the sheet, a nursing home can sprinkle cornstarch on the sheet. The nursing home should also check the patient's sides and back each day to ensure that the skin looks as it should, and they must pay attention to high-pressure areas such as hipbones, tailbones, heels, ankles and elbows.

If there is a pressure area that is forming but has not yet become a sore, nursing home staff can use pillows to prop the patient up to relieve the pressure on those areas. If the patient cannot stay in this position on his own, foam wedges can be used to support the body weight, notes the American Cancer Society.

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