All About Bedsores

How to Prevent Bedsores

The most important thing you can do to prevent bedsores is to change positions frequently. It’s good to change position every two hours while in bed. While sitting in a wheelchair, shift your weight every 15 minutes, and reposition your body once every hour. Ask for help with repositioning.

Do wheelchair push-ups—Lift your body up off the seat by pushing against the arms of the chair.

In this video, medical expert Mary Ziegler describes how to release pressure when sitting in a wheelchair

Get the right wheelchair seat cushions–Ask your social worker or physical therapist about ordering individually-fitted seat cushion for your wheelchair. There are many bedsore-preventing types of cushions, made of foam, gel or filled with air. Don’t use a rubber ring, or doughnut; they block blood flow to the skin inside the ring.

Consider a wheelchair that tilts back or reclines—they allow you to change your posture and redistribute your weight and reduce pressure.

How to choose a wheelchair cushion

Look into nighttime pressure relief—consider an egg-crate foam mattress topper, a waterbed or a sheepskin mattress cover to reduce the likelihood of bedsores. There are also therapy mattresses that automatically alternate pressure to prevent bedsores.

Beware shear and friction – which come from dragging the body across the bed sheets.

It’s true that a bedsore can develop in a few hours

Keep skin clean and dry—use gentle soaps, avoid irritants and watch for buttons, tight shoes or wrinkles and heavy seams that can irritate the skin.

Eat well and stay hydrated—be sure you get enough protein, vitamins, minerals and fluid to maintain healthy skin.

Inspect your skin every day—Bedsores can develop very quickly.


How to Prevent Bedsores