What's new in the other general journalsBMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.333.7567.542 (Published 07 September 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:542
All rapid responses
The ongoing issue of pressure sores makes me very sad.
As a now retired physician once told me "You can put anything you
like on a pressure sore except the patient."
As a medical student I worked in a spinal injuries unit. Patients
there required turning every four hours every day without fail. A turn
required 5 people.
One of the physicians there was also an engineer. He realised that
this was a huge requirement of man power and training. he invented a
rotating bed to do the work instead. From working there I cannot praise
these highly enough. It is possible to have all several limbs and the neck
in traction with multiple tubes attached as was not uncommon in the
intensive care unit.
Pressure sores simply dont happen with these. As usual there were
never enough of these devices to go round - hence the need for man power.
After I qualified I have seen these beds parked and unused in storage
in several hospitals. They arent cheap but they are much better than any
ripple matress or similar mechanicla device I have ever seen used.
They can be completely diassembled for cleaning and disinfection. The
patients much prefer these to four hourly turns as they get to sleep.
I have no doubt that skin preps and better nutrition will help in
preventing these but it seems to me that since the main cause of these is
the immobility of the patient why do we not treat that instead?
Competing interests: No competing interests