24-Hour Care: Consider interlinked needs

Q. What is 24-hour care and why should I care?
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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A. Tick, Tock, Tick. Consider all the pressure care, mobility, respiratory and positioning equipment available to your business. While many times we may only focus on pressure and posture care for a small portion of the day, gravity is on duty 24/7, 365, and your product offerings must consider the round-the-clock positioning and skin protection needs of the consumer.

It’s vital that pressure care is addressed both during lying and sitting over the 24-hour period, hence 24-hour care. Whether lying down or sitting, the same pelvis and skin surfaces are at risk. The support surface on the bed is as important as the one on the mobility base, commode or shower chair.

Poor posture in both lying and sitting positions may be one of the factors that result in asymmetry of the body creating the unequal weight-bearing and distribution of the body over the supporting surface. This may result in peak pressure points.

When considering the secondary complications associated with poor posture and positioning, in addition to pressure concerns, respiratory needs may also be negatively affected. Due to poor posture, the chest cavity may be exposed to postural collapse or compression, meaning that the lungs are not able to fully inflate or function in a healthy manner. Shallow breathing means less oxygen into your system.Low levels of oxygen in the blood may result in the skin becoming more vulnerable to damage, such as a pressure injury.

Our posture, pressure and respiratory care needs are interlinked and equipment selections should reflect these relationships. A consumer who is educated on the importance of 24-hour care and is armed with the products to help support this is less likely to return with pressure concerns and has the 24-hour support they need to be comfortable and confident.

Brad Peterson, is vice president of Professional Affairs and Clinical Education at Invacare. Reach him at bpeterson@invacare.com. Lee Ann Hoffman, seating & positioning specialist at Invacare contributed to this article.