Many chronic diseases force patients to adhere to bed rest for a long time. Also, severe illnesses can disable a person, forever binding him or her to bed. The quality of life of a patient and his chances of recovery largely depend on the care that he or she receives.
Prevention of lungs congestion refers to the main tasks of care for bedridden patients. In addition, caring for a bedridden patient prevents the occurrence of pressure sores, muscle atrophy, and ensures compliance with sanitary and hygienic standards.
In this article, BestShowerChairs.com shares tips and practical recommendations on the organization of care for patients forced to comply with bed rest.
Skin care tips for out of action patients
Confined to bed by sickness or old age patients are usually deprived of the opportunity to wash themselves, brush their teeth, take a shower or bath. Therefore, carers must take care of the cleanliness of the patient’s body. To do this, you may need handicap bathroom accessories like these.
Hygienic procedures should be carried out daily. If the patient controls his actions and can sit down, ask him to wash his face and brush his teeth without getting out of bed. Use any suitable container that you can put on the knees of the patient.
If the patient does not sit down, use a towel soaked in warm water for washing. Weekly bathing in the bathroom and a daily shower are the perfect way to care for the patient’s skin. For maximum safety procedures install special bars attached to the wall. Handheld shower heads sort if these and good curtains also may help.
However, in some cases, such procedures are contraindicated or impossible to perform. In such situations, use a towel soaked in warm water, to cleanse the patient’s skin of sweat and other contaminants. Also, make sure you’ve read our previous article on the ways to bath the handicapped safely.
Wash the patient’s head at least once a week. To do this, use a special inflatable bath. With its help, you can easily wash the head of a patient with long hair, without any inconvenience.
Bedsores are necrosis of the skin and soft tissues. They develop due to circulatory disturbances in the areas of the body that are constantly in contact with the bed. Bedsores significantly complicate the care of the patient, cause him suffering. It’s also a threat to the life of the patient due to the risk of infection.
Remember, pressure sores are easier to prevent than cure. Ensuring the purity of the skin is a prerequisite for effective prevention of their appearance.
These recommendations will help you reduce the risk of bedsores in a recumbent patient to zero:
- Regularly change bed linen on the patient’s bed. Do this at least once a week.
- Make sure the sheet on which the patient is lying does not have seams and wrinkles. Use sheets with an elastic band, which are put on the mattress.
- Change the patient’s position in the bed every 2-3 hours. The patient should lie on his side, back and stomach. If the patient is uncomfortable lying on his stomach, turn him only on his sides and on his back. Also, the position on the abdomen isn’t suitable for patients who are in an unconscious state.
- Rub the patient with camphor spirit several times a week. Rubbing improves blood circulation. Camphor spirit disinfects the skin, preventing it from becoming infected. It also has a deodorant effect.
- Make sure that the patient’s skin is always dry. Use diapers if the patient doesn’t control urination and defecation. Regularly change them. Otherwise, use bariatric bedside commodes after reading our guide, or handicapped toilet seat risers over here.
- If possible, purchase an anti-decubitus mattress with a compressor. Its use significantly reduces the likelihood of circulatory disorders in the skin.
If you haven’t been able to prevent bedsores, contact your doctor immediately. This must be done already at the first stage of the development of the disease, which is characterized by a constant redness at the lesion site that does not pass after rubbing.
Lung congestion and muscle atrophy prevention
Limited mobility reduces ventilation of the lungs, as a result of which the blood circulation in them worsens. In the airways, viscous sputum accumulates, which becomes a nutrient medium for microorganisms. This is how hypostatic pneumonia develops, which threatens the patient’s life. Also, hypodynamia leads to muscle atrophy and contractures (limited mobility of the joints).
Active and passive gymnastics, vibromassage of the lungs and breathing exercises prevent the development of hypostatic pneumonia, muscle atrophy and joint contractures.
The following guidelines will help you use these techniques:
- Active gymnastics is prescribed practically to all patients who are conscious. Offer the patient to perform feasible exercises, roll themselves on the bed, rise, sit down.
- If the patient is unable to do the exercises on his own, perform passive gymnastics. For this, bend and unbend the patient’s limbs independently, working through all of his joints. Take care that passive gymnastics doesn’t hurt the patient.
- Vibromassage of the lungs helps to avoid congestion of the sputum in the airways, and also reduces stagnant phenomena. To do this, put the patient on any side and rub his back skin with camphor spirit. Then tap the palm of your hand across the patient’s chest. Avoid tapping in the spine and kidneys.
- Breathing exercises for bedridden patients are another effective way to prevent hypostatic pneumonia. Ask the patient to inflate balloons, blow bubbles, sing songs or just breathe deeply from time to time.
Thus, the implementation of hygienic procedures, the prevention of pressure sores, muscle atrophy, joint contractures and hypostatic pneumonia are among the main areas of care for bedridden patients.
Remember, nursing improves the mood and well-being of the patient, allows him to maintain self-esteem. The quality of care largely depends on the attitude of the caring person to the patient. So be friednly and show the patient only positive emotions.