Saturday, November 17, 2007
Recently Medicare announced that within a year it will no longer pay hospitals for treating certain "reasonably preventable" conditions, one of which is bedsores. This has spurred hospitals to develop aggressive programs to prevent them, such as playing music to remind the staff to turn patients every two hours. And with reason: decubiti, the medical name for pressure ulcers or bedsores, are among the most frequent, costly and dangerous of medical complications.
Quote from the article:
For a healthy person spending a routine night in bed, or even on a futon or sleeping bag, this sounds unlikely... but in a weakened patient who cannot move themselves and who may well be dehydrated these sores can form with frightening speed. They can become infected and have been known to kill in themselves (think Christopher Reeve, who died of sepsis from an infected bedsore). The article provides some interesting tips developed to remind staff to keep checking patients, which is really the single best way to prevent this complication.