Pressure sores are a threat after a spinal cord injury

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If you suffer a spinal cord injury and get treatment, it’s important to know what other physical risks you face during that treatment. Pressure sores are one of the more common risks, as they can develop while you are bedridden, if you’re not cared for properly. Experts note that daily skin care may be necessary.

The good news is that these experts also claim that a full 95 percent of the bedsores that people suffer from are preventable. You should do things like adopting a healthy diet, washing and cleaning your skin even when it’s difficult, and simply moving and changing positions when possible so that one area of skin does not get an improper blood supply.

You may not be able to move entirely to a new position, due to the SCI, so you can do exercises known as pressure reliefs. For instance, if you’re sitting in a wheelchair, the bottom of your leg is pressing your hamstring against the chair. A pressure relief just means lifting that area, or shifting so that the pressure moves, and holding it for around 90 seconds. If you can do this every half hour — or every quarter hour — it can help to stave off bedsores, even if you aren’t able to entirely get out of the chair.

If you do develop bedsores, they can be quite painful and will require special treatment so that they heal properly. When they’re connected to the initial SCI, you may be able to seek compensation for your pain and suffering and the cost of this medical care. Make sure you remember your rights to compensation all through the treatment process, not just after the major surgeries.

Source: University of Washington, “Skin Care & Pressure Sores,” accessed Aug. 30, 2016

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