Bedsores and diabetic ulcers are among the top two most common unrealized dangers a diabetic can have. If these are left untreated they can be life threatening. I hope this brings awareness to caregivers. Here are a few things you can do to prevent your patient from developing bedsores or diabetic ulcers on the legs.
1. Use the same routine when inspecting, and inspect often. Developing a routine will insure that you don’t miss an area. You want to check for any red areas on the skin that stay red and don’t fade away. This can be the beginning of a bedsore.
2. Never leave out the feet. Diabetics need to keep a good eye on their feet. Always check them and make sure you look in between the toes for any blisters. Also keep your eyes out for any cuts, scrapes, or scratches. Diabetics have a harder time healing so catching one of these right away is key!
3. Use pillows or foam wedges. Use these to keep legs from rubbing together or to prop up the heels so they are not touching the bed. It is recommended that you stay away from the egg crate kind of foam. Probably because it has bumps that may cause unnecessary irritation.
4. Keep as dry as possible. If the patient or family member you are caring for suffers from incontinence, make sure you keep them as dry as possible. Use a moisture blocking cream after each change and try to find the most absorbent undergarments.
5. Use moisturizers on the skin. After bathing with soap and water you will want to make sure you moisturize the skin. This will keep the skin from dying out.
6. Keep legs straight. Don’t cross your patient’s legs. This prevents proper blood flow. Without proper blood flow the patient could get more wounds. Wounds in diabetics are hard to heal so preventing this is important.
7. Change positions often. It is recommended that the patient or family member be moved around every fifteen minutes. This helps prevent bedsores from forming. Most bedsores occur because the patient sits in the same position for long periods of time.
8. Consult with a doctor. If your patient has a wound, or sore that will not heal seek medical advice. They have some great wound care centers just for diabetics. Finally, you will also want to seek medical attention if any wound looks like it might have become infected.