I had flap surgery at the Dallas VAMC on January 11. After surgery I was placed into a Clinitron-type bed (essentially a black-ringed oval tub with a white porous sheet over air-liquidized silica). I am 6'7" tall and have contractures in my legs. As a result the bed is somewhat of a tight fit and my exterior ankle bones are in constant contact with the bed's surface since my legs are splayed out rather than straight and flat. I have to take care not to allow my knees to rest or press against the black rubberized rail.
I have never had pressure ulcers; my surgery was for a bursa which resulted in an incision and drain. The wound bed never healed and after attempting a wound vac and various dressings, I returned to the VA for flap surgery. The surgery went very well, the wound is healing "perfectly" (according the surgeon he "couldn't be happier") and all seemed well.
I have taken very good care of my skin the last 36 years and have never had issues with ulcers. However my wife examined my feet today and discovered something that was horrifying to me: a pressure ulcer on my right ankle.
Two days ago there were six power outages, starting at around 11pm and occurring throughout the night, with the last occurring at 6:50am. Although the bed was connected to emergency power, it also failed. The bed turned into a hard, yet conforming surface. Each period lasted from five to ten minutes. The nursing staff had no explanation for the power outages since the weather was perfect.
When doing bowel care I am rolled to my left side and the power to the bed is cut. I then lay on the silica bed anywhere from one to two hours before the bed is again energized and I begin to "float."
What can I do to prevent further pressure ulcers? I am very concerned at this point.