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Your Healthy Family: Preventing pressure injuries in the elderly - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Your Healthy Family: Preventing pressure injuries in the elderly

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There is a common injury that affects many senior citizens that is easily preventable There is a common injury that affects many senior citizens that is easily preventable
COLORADO SPRINGS -

There is a common injury that affects many senior citizens that is easily preventable.  It just takes some knowledge and proactive steps.  Karlene Wood is a wound care certified registered nurse with Interim Healthcare in Colorado Springs.

“In our elderly, when they become less mobile we have to make sure that we're turning them.  Make sure they are standing, walking, and getting circulation back to those areas of the body that need it so that they don't develop complications from what we call bedsores, or pressure ulcers.  We are now calling them pressure injuries, because these are injuries to the skin.”

Pressure injuries to the skin are a result of lack of movement and prolonged pressure from our bones says Karlene.  

“Think about where your bones are, your bony prominences, and then we and are sitting on a hard surface and after a long period of time that pressure does not allow the circulation to get to that area and it causes what we call ischemia, or tissue death.  There are four stages, one two three and four, with one being a red area, and four means it's all the way to the bone.  These pressure injuries are preventable.”

Karlene adds, that keeping our loved ones active as they age can be a challenge, but it's more about frequency than length of time when it comes to activity.

“If you have a family member sitting in a chair for hours, get them up and walk around.  It doesn't take long for pressure injuries to develop.  They say within two hours you could have a pressure ulcer, and you have to think about that as an injury to the skin.  Not allowing the blood flow to get to the skin and remember the skin is the largest the largest organ in the body”

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