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Thread: pillow for back support

  1. #1

    pillow for back support

    I am taking care of my father in law who is a T12 complete injury since 11/1/05. I get up to turn him about 2 times each night. Should I be turning him more? He has developed pressure sores, however the Dr thinks it is from sitting too long. He can only sit for 3 hours a day now. We just changed the chair cushion to a Rojo Quatro Cushion. I really don't know if this is helping. Here is my question:

    Any suggestions on a pillow or what to put behind him when he is on his side. I've been using a folded pillow but he seems to end up on his back with pressure on his bottom.

  2. #2
    We use one of those long 'body pillows'; you can get them at Bed, Bath and Beyond or Linens and Things.

    What kind of mattress is he on? And how long is he sitting? Can he do his own weight shifts? What is his general health, and did he go to a rehab center? I would think that with his level of injury, if there are no other health problems, he could be learning to turn himself in bed.

  3. #3
    Where exactly are his pressure ulcers? How deep are they?

    If he has ischial pressure ulcers, he should not be sitting at all, even with a Roho cushion. He should be side to side in bed only, with only brief times on his back, and no sitting in bed.

    A foam wedge works well for positioning on the side. You can either purchase these, or get your local upholstery supply shop to cut you one. They work best if you put the foam surface directly on the bed, but cover the area contacting the skin with a pillow case.

    Ask the doctor to prescribe a rental low air loss mattress for him (and a hospital bed if he does not already have one), and a home health wound care nurse to help with assessment and treatment of his pressure ulcer.

    Once the wound is completely healed, he can start sitting again, first for 15 minutes, then the next day 30, and each day increase by 15 minutes. Careful skin inspection should be done, and if any deterioration is seen, it is back to bedrest.

    Was he taught how to do wheelchair weight shifts in rehab? There are several techniques for doing this. It is critical that he do one every 10-15 minutes whenever sitting in his chair. A cushion alone is not enough. It is also critical that his wheelchair be properly fit/adjusted. Footrests that are too high often are a culprit in causing ischial pressure ulcers as they shift the weight from where it should be (the posterior thighs) to the ischiums. He may need a full seating evaluation once he is able to sit again.


  4. #4
    I am an incomplete c5-6. Been doing this going on 20 yrs. The only time I have had breakdowns is when I went into the hospital to sick to move. I had to have inhome health care and wound care center at the same time. Took almost 3 years to get them healed. But I have found that Rohos has kept me from more breakdowns while sitting. Roho also has an air mattress.

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