Decubitus ulcers remain a significant problem for nursing home patients
Despite increased publicity and laws requiring nursing homes to implement preventative measures, decubitus ulcers (also referred to as: bed sores, pressure sores or pressure ulcers) remain a significant threat to the health of patients in nursing homes.
Bed sores can develop in any area of the body where pressure is continually applied without relief. Most frequently, we see bed sores in areas of the body that bear a majority of a person’s body weight when they sit or lay in one position for long periods of time.
Bedsores, more properly known as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, are lesions caused by many factors such as: unrelieved pressure; friction; humidity; shearing forces; temperature; age; continence and medication; to any part of the body, especially portions over bony or cartilaginous areas such as sacrum, elbows, knees, and ankles. Although easily prevented and completely treatable if found early, bedsores are often fatal – even under the auspices of medical care – and are one of the leading iatrogenic causes of death reported in developed countries, second only to adverse drug reactions.
IoN Conference - Advanced Technologies for an Ageing Population
Dr Herman Lenting is Senior Researcher at the Department of Innovative Materials of the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO). At present he is coordinating the European IP-SME Lidwine Project which is focusing on solutions for the prevention and accelerated healing of decubitus wounds. The Project has developed a number of concepts for decubitus prevention and accelerated wound healing in situations where (open) wounds occur. These address the different circumstances which may lead to decubitus initiation like the constant pressure at certain areas of the human body, sensitiveness of the skin in these areas for friction, the impact of humidity on skin condition and its sensitiveness towards infection.
In his presentation at the Institute of Nanotechnology’s forthcoming Conference Advanced Technologies for an Ageing Population, to be held in Glasgow on 23-24 March 2011, Dr Lenting will give an overview of the different product concepts developed which include a controllable contractive cuff for pressure alternation and stimulated blood circulation, coatings with reduced friction properties and different systems for infection prevention and infection treatment with release-on-command systems.
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