Your patients have enough to think about, especially when they are bedridden (either temporarily or permanently).
Here we want to look at a couple of health risks for bedridden patients and how you and your care team can help avoid them.
Pressure Sores: This is a big one we talk about a lot because it’s one of the most common health risks associated with bed or wheelchair ridden patients. In addition to a quality mattress, encourage regular turning and rolling over in bed, have patients wear cotton to absorb moisture, and provide support for regular exercises or stretching as they are able.
Pneumonia: Avoid complications and additional health risks associated with developing pneumonia. Encourage elevating of the patients’ head when they’re not sleeping and encouraging deep breathing and coughing exercises.
Constipation: No one wants to be constipated. Encourage the digestive health of your patients by providing a variety of healthy fruits (as allowed), warm beverages, encouraging frequent bathroom visits, and help them with exercises and stretches to assist with forward bowel motions.
Contractures: Inactivity from being in a hospital bed or wheelchair can cause shortening and hardening of the muscles. Help avoid this by monitoring their extremities for drop and lack of natural strength, use supports to maintain natural body contours, and provide opportunities for stretching and exercise as possible.
Stiffness: Long-term immobility can lead to stiffness in the joints and muscles. To prevent, offer regular warm baths, ensure they’re wearing clothes that don’t impede movement, and encourage regular stretching and movement as they can.
Urinary Tract Infections: Recurring UTIs can become a very serious problem if not treated. If your patient develops recurrent UTIs encourage drinking plenty of fluids to flush out their system, and change soiled clothes immediately.
Depression: We also need to monitor the mental health of our patients, especially when a hospitalization changes their way of life and routines. Ensure their bed is in a room with plenty of ventilation and natural light, offer music or meditative activities, and allow for regular communications (phone or video chats) with friends and relatives who can’t make it to see them in-person regularly.
Essential Medical Products carries many patient comfort furniture and accessories to help them be as comfortable as possible during their healing period. Browse our website to learn more about how we can help!