Alternating Pressure Coccyx Cushion - The Latest Advancement in the Prevention and Treatment of bed sores on the tailbone
BED SORES - WHAT ARE THEY?
Bed sores also known as pressure sore or tissue injury occur when pressure between the skin/body and a support surface ie. seat or mattress, impedes blood flow to the skin. Prolonged lack of essential blood flow to the skin can damage the soft tissues causing skin breakdown and skin death or necrosis. Boney prominences where bones are close to the skins surface: tailbone, buttocks, sacrum, shoulder blades, heels and more are paricularly prone to breakdown.
HOW DO SORES DEVELOP ON THE TAILBONE
We take for granted the ability to shift our own weight to relieve pressure and pain when we are not comfortable. But what if you are unable to change position on your own?
Pressure redistribution via repositioning is key in the prevention of skin breakdown however, there are many who are unable to reposition themselves. This leaves those most at risk of skin breakdown, highly susceptible to recurring bed sores especially in the sacrum and coccyx.
The standard therapy for the prevention and treatment of bed sores is Alternating Pressure. However, this proven therapy was previously not available for those most prone to coccyx breakdown until the development of the first Alternating Pressure Coccyx Cushion by Purely Comfort LLC.
The Coccyx, also known as the tailbone is the remnant of a tail that lost its original function of assisting with balance and mobility. The Coccyx now serves as an anchor point for many tendons, ligaments and muscles.
There are multiple factors that make the Sacrum and Coccyx areas prone to developing pressure sores:
1) The skin is very thin over the boney prominences
2) Thin skin tears easily
3) Improper positioning while seated (sacral sitting)
4) Continuous pressure when seated
5) Shearing injuries while repositioning or transfer
In addition to pain they cause, bedsores are open pathways to potentially fatal infections such as MRSA. According to a study published by the NIH, “Pressure ulcers are associated with fatal septic infections and are reported as a cause of thousands of deaths each year in the United States.” Coccyx wounds are at higher risk to become infected by fecal contamination. Prevention is key and effective treatment to heal wounds essential.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PROPER POSITIONING TO PREVENT PAIN AND PRESSURE SORES
It is difficult for those who are less mobile to sit properly in a recliner, wheelchair or chair. Even with the assistance of a care-giver, the patient may not be positioned properly and therefore sitting directly on their tailbone or sacrum “sacral sitting”. Improper positioning can cause additional pressure on the Sacrum and Coccyx. Pressure is prolonged in people without the ability to reposition. Since the skin is thin over the boney prominences, it does not take long for a pressure sore to develop. One way to prevent sacral sitting is to place the hips against the recliner or wheelchair back. This may be a more difficult in a recliner due to the patient's height and the seat depth.
When seated, weight is placed on the IT Ischial Tuberosity aka Sit Down Bones. If seated improperly, pressure is not evenly distributed and therefore can be the source of pain. It is essential that pressure is even distributed
NOTE: It is always best to seek the assistance of a seating specialist.
WHAT IS SKIN SHEAR AND HOW TO PREVENT IT?
Skin shear occurs when the skin and underlying bones move in opposite directions. This happens because of the forces needed to move the body against a surface that grabs the skin (friction). These opposing forces can tear the skin.
Repositioning is made far more difficult without the ability to lift one's weight off the support surface and can create injury to the skin. Skin shear often occurs during repositioning, shifting back in a chair or recliner or transferring. Shearing can be prevented through proper seating on a cushion utilizing a non-shear cover material on the wheelchair, recliner seat or mattress.
REDUCING PRESSURE TO PREVENT PAIN AND PRESSURE SORES ON THE COCCYX
Reducing pressure in the coccyx can be achieved by use of a coccyx cushion that has a cut out under the tailbone. When on the coccyx cushion one must repositioning often to prevent prolonged pressure. Unfortunately, there are many people who are unable to reposition themselves without assistance and this can lead to recurring bed sores on the bottom and coccyx. Prevention and healing require the use of an alternating pressure cushion and pump. Until recently, there was no cushion for the specific purpose that provided pressure relief for those less mobile.
ALTERNATING PRESSURE COCCYX CUSHION - Prevent & Treat Coccyx Pressure Ulcers
Purely Comfort LLC has developed the first Alternating Pressure Coccyx Cushion created specifically for the prevention and treatment of recurring bed sores in the coccyx or tailbone. “We have many customers who suffer from recurring coccyx wounds and chronic pain” says Jeff Adise president of Purely Comfort LLC. “Foam coccyx cushions are only effective if the patient can reposition themselves but they do not address the needs of those with limited mobility. Yet people with limited mobility are the ones who are most susceptible to recurring coccyx wounds and most in need of a solution” says Adise. The cushion features a combination of the same alternating pressure therapy utilized in hospital mattress systems along with a coccyx pressure relief zone. The alternating pressure pump redistributes pressure evenly every few minutes to help prevent skin breakdown. The system features a portable AC/DC pump that can be used with electric or on its internal battery for up to 6 hours and is adjustable for individualized comfort. The pump offers balanced support to help prevent pain in the Ischial Tuberosity. The low friction, non-shear cover helps prevent skin shear injuries and cleans easily. "Currently we manufacture the cushions for wheelchairs with a portable pump and recliners with a fully electric pump. Customer's are finding relief from pain and healing of chronic coccyx issues".
The Alternating Pressure Coccyx Cushion is only available through Purely Comfort LLC on their website www.comfortsbest.com.
For more information call Comforts Best at 888-450-0045.
None of the above is meant as medical advise or to be used to diagnose or treat a pressure wound. Always seek the assistance of a medical professional or seating specialist.