People who spend long periods of time in a hospital recliner or geri chair are at a higher risk of developing pressure ulcers.
Pressure ulcers, which are preventable can: develop quickly, are often difficult to treat and can be very dangerous if not treated properly. Unfortunately insurance will only pay for the most basic skin protection which leaves those who need it most at highest risk.
Pressure ulcers, also known as bed sores, are injuries to the skin and underlying tissue in great part resulting from prolonged pressure on the skin. Ulcers most often develop on skin that covers bony areas of the body, such as the heels, ankles, hips and tailbone. However. pressure ulcers on the buttocks are common from prolonged use of a hospital recliner or geri chair.
Pressure is not the only factor to consider when dealing with pressure ulcers. Heat build up and moisture are major contributing factors and must be considered.
The most effective treatment of pressure ulcers from use of a hospital recliner is prevention. The key to prevention is pressure redistribution. In an existing hospital recliner or geri-chair this is acheived through use of a therapeutic recliner overlay. There are a number of therapeutic recliner overlay pad materials that provide varying levels of preventative pressure redistribution: foam, gel & air. Foam recliner overlay pads and particularly fluidized gel recliner overlays are excellent methods of pressure redistribution for those who are able to shift their weight without assistance and are somewhat mobile. Foam, particularly memory foam is prone to heat build up. A soft foam pad may not be suitable for someone who is unable to stablize balance. A Gel Recliner Overlay which combines the benefits of gel and foam is better at dissipating heat and forms an excellent pressure redistribution support surface. However, for those who are unable to shift their weight and / or spend long periods of time in a geri chair recliner or even sleep in their hospital recliner chairs the most effective therapeutic support surface for the prevention of pressure ulcers is an Alternating Pressure Recliner Overlay.
Pressure ulcers are rated in stages I - IV due to their severity. Pressure ulcers from recliners can lead to severe or intolerable pain, are prone to infection, and have dangerous consequences. Once a pressure ulcer has been observed the key to treatment is a rapid therapeutic response.
Plain foam geri chair recliner cushions are not a preferred skin protection cushion once a pressure ulcer has developed. For early stage pressure ulcers, a Gel Recliner Cushion is an acceptable first response. A geri-chair gel recliner cushion combines the support of foam and the pressure redistribution of fluidized gel. However, Alternating Air Pressure Recliner Overlays Cushions are preferred for the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers. Blue Chip Medical's Alternating Pressure utilizes a portable air pump to fill air bladders of varying sizes on an alternating basis to redistibute pressure and promote a healthy, dry and therapeutic recliner seating enviroment. Alteranting Pressure offers maximum protection, especially for those less mobile.
Care-givers and relations of loved-ones routinely care for someone who has developed pressure ulcers from a recliner chair which may already outfitted with a pressure relieving cushion. There is frustration at being denied a pressure redistribution geri chair overlay until the a pressure ulcer has developed and is deemed large enough to warrant treatment. For anyone caring for a parent or child, there is no size painful pressure ulcer which is acceptable. Once deemed covered, insurance may only approve a basic skin protection recliner overlay which is either of sub-standard manufacture or not preferred in the treatment of pressure ulcers.
Pressure ulcers are very painful and a potential conduit for severe or even fatal infection. They are difficult and very costly to treat. Yet, due to the current state of health care, most are on their own to purchase the therapeutic geri chair recliner overlay they need to help their loved ones prevent the intolerable pain and potentially fatal infection of pressure ulcers.
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
It is far less expensive to prevent pressure ulcers than to treat them. A basic skin protection Gel Geri-Chair Recliner Overlay will prevent the necessity to purchase a more costly but more effective alternating pressure recliner cushion.