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    I have to tell you that it doesn't take long for
    the skin to become compromised after a
    person has been in one position for too long.
    The skin could look perfectly fine from the
    outside, but then once it breaks you could
    possibly have deterioration down to the
    muscle, opening the person up for infection.
    They could even become septic (infection in
    the blood stream.) I have seen patients come
    into the hospital with non stageable pressure
    ulcers, and it only took a week for their skin to
    get in that condition.

    Make sure the skin stays clean. Be prompt
    after soiling in cleaning the area and always
    moisturize the skin, especially dry skin.
    Moisturizers rich in vitamin E and aloe are
    recommended. Your older population can have
    extremely fragile skin to the point of being
    paper thin, so during skin care be very careful.

    Most people don't realize that diet can play a
    very important role in tissue regeneration. In
    the hospital setting patients with impaired skin
    integrity are immediately put on a high protein
    diet ( Important for the growth and repair of
    tissue cells.)

    The following supplements should also be
    added to the diet:

  • Vitamin C : This helps to prevent free radical production which could inhibit healing.
  • Arginine : Promotes collagen synthesis for new skin. It also increases the blood flow
    to the wound and may help to fight off infection.
  • Vitamin B12 : Aids in wound healing and tissue repair.
  • Zinc : Required for tissue regeneration and repair (BUT could also suppress the
    function of the immune System.)

Look for foods rich in these supplements and add them to the diet. If I was going to put emphasis on
one thing it would be the protein. Finally, inspect the skin daily. This could be done during the time that
you do your turns and also during soil changes. Document the condition of the skin on a skin log.
Anything different that you notice should be documented on the log. Look for any signs of possible
breakdown, which may include a redness that doesn't go away once position is changed and pressure
is removed from the area. Also be suspicious of open or blistered skin. Should you notice these or any
sign suggestive of skin breakdown, immediately take pressure off of the area and keep it clean of
urine and feces. If the skin is broken seek medical advice to obtain the best possible treatment to heal
the ulcer. If there is redness do not massage the area. If you notice a progression seek medical advice
for prompt treatment.
Skin log
Elder Care Health Forms
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