Preventing Pressure Sores in Persons with Muscular Dystrophy

Bed sores (AKA tissue injury, pressure ulcers, ischemic ulcers, and Decubitus ulcer) are an injury to the skin and the underlying tissue primarily caused by prolonged pressure that restricts blood flow to the skin. Tissue damage begins as an area of redness, purplish for those with darker skin. Untreated, pressure sores can penetrate the muscle and even bone, often resulting in serious and sometimes fatal infections.

Muscular dystrophy is a group of diseases that cause progressive weakness, loss of muscle mass and limits mobility. For people with Muscular Dystrophy particularly Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy whose condition limits mobility, muscle tone, cognition and confines them to a wheelchair. pressure ulcers are a common risk.

Pressure sores most commonly occur on the buttocks, IT's, hips or coccyx (tailbone). These areas bear the body’s weight when sitting. Tissue injury can be caused by a variety of factors, sometimes in combination. The pivotal cause is pressure on the skin that restricts blood flow. Without proper blood flow, the skin dies and a wound is formed. This can be exacerbated by poor nutrition, incontinence, stress, and poor hygiene.

Be Proactive: It Does Not Take Long for a Pressure Sore to Develop
Pressure wounds can occur quickly. Look for signs of skin discoloration that lasts more than 30 minutes once the pressure is redistributed. This is a reason to begin immediate treatment for pressure sores. Be proactive. Don’t wait for a wound to form. Wounds are quick to form and often slow to heal, sometimes months if not years. Even with the best of care, pressure wounds can occur. Christopher Reeve, the actor who portrayed Superman and later was paralyzed in an equestrian accident, died from complications caused by a pressure sore.

To avoid sores, the NPUAP, National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel instructs patients with Muscular Dystrophy that are wheelchair users or in a recliner to shift their weight every 15 minutes. For people with Muscular Dystrophy who can’t shift their own weight, a caregiver should help reposition them at least once every hour. However, for those with limited mobility and without a full-time caregiver, alternating pressure therapy via an alternating pressure cushion is an excellent solution to treat and prevent pressure ulcers from occurring.

Alternating Pressure Therapy
An alternating pressure cushion utilizes a series of air bladders and a pump that varies the internal pressure of the bladders every few minutes to provide an active therapeutic pressure redistribution surface. Alternating bladders inflate and deflate automatically to the desired pressure, comfort, and on a timed alternation cycle. Muscular dystrophy and neuromuscular diseases, affect core strength and the muscle tone over the IT, pressure contact points can shift as the disease progresses, making it necessary to have a dynamic surface that helps provide balance as well as pressure redistribution.

Jeffrey Adise President of Purely Comfort LLC knows all too well the challenges that persons with limited mobility face. “There is limited information and few therapeutic solutions for people with Muscular Dystrophy,” says Adise. "I speak with patients and caregivers every day. Through their stories, I gain intimate knowledge of the individual challenges." Adise found that many patients face similar challenges yet surprisingly there is nothing to help address these common issues. This is especially true for the home care patient confined to a wheelchair, lift-chair or recliner. "I call on two decades of experience to help create unique and custom solutions for these common issues". Adise has helped create a series of unique alternating pressure wheelchair cushions and recliner overlays that address these common challenges for patients with neuromuscular disorders that are used in the prevention and treatment of stages I-IV pressure ulcers.

Alternating Pressure Cushions for Wheelchairs
In addition to providing pressure redistribution, balance, protection against shearing and more, an alternating pressure cushion for a wheelchair must have several essential elements to be of benefit to people with Muscular Dystrophy, portability, and adjustability. The pump's adjustability is extremely important for lightweight children and heavier adults. This allows the system to be adjusted to the patient to find that balance of skin protection and comfort. All Purely Comfort alternating pressure wheelchair or recliner cushions come with an AC/DC pump that makes the system completely portable. The pump is highly adjustable to the patient weight to ensure that whether a patient is pediatric, bariatric or geriatric they are finding comfort and receiving effective therapy regardless of weight.

Alternating Pressure Cushions for Home Recliners, Lift Chairs & Tilt in Space Wheelchairs
One of the unique products developed by Purely Comfort LLC is an alternating pressure cushion for home recliners, lift chairs and tilt in space chairs. Designed to fit in all manufacturer's home recliners such as Lazy Boy or lift chairs such as Golden Technology, this cushion is very comfortable, extremely effective and provides head to heel skin protection.

Alternating Pressure Coccyx Cushions
The latest innovation from Purely Comfort is their alternating pressure coccyx cushion for the prevention and treatment of IT pain and sores of the tailbone, sacrum, and bottom. Utilized in a wheelchair or recliner, this cushion was developed to address chronic tailbone wounds. These are particularly dangerous because they reoccur quite often and are prone to infection due to the wound's proximity to waste products.

"There is an 80/20 rule in the treatment and prevention of pressure ulcers. The available therapeutic technology is meant to address the needs of the masses. This leaves 20% of the population and particularly those suffering from debilitating neuromuscular disorders such as Muscular Dystrophy, without solutions for their individualized care and skin protection. These are the people who are suffering most and the ones I strive to create unique solutions for." says Adise.


Jeff Adise is the President of Purely Comfort LLC.
All Purely Comfort alternating pressure cushions were developed and are manufactured in the US.

None of the information above is meant for purposes of diagnosis or treatment of illness or medical condition. Always seek medical advice from a qualified healthcare or wound care professional.