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PTA Blog Talk

Skin Integrity

Published March 14, 2012 9:19 PM by Jason Marketti

While working on a patient who still required a mechanical lift, I practiced sitting balance on the mat table and use of the slide board multiple times. It was successful to a degree. The obstacle for success was that no carryover from the nursing department occurred.

And to make it worse, the sling used for the patient remained under him throughout the day. When nursing was asked about the sling still under the patient, the reply was that it is easier for them to do it that way when getting him back to bed. Now, I am not a genius about skin integrity, but I have seen wrinkles on a bed produce wounds on an immobile patient. Imagine the thickness of a sling being under someone and what that can produce in the realm of wounds.

Apparently this didn't seem to be an issue with anyone but me. The sling has stayed put and my feeble attempts to change that are met with scorn. Somehow the sling is replaced when therapy is done (I don't replace it after therapy) and the patient has mentioned it can get uncomfortable at times if the seam is in the wrong place.

Where to go from here? Do I continue the silent sling protest by not replacing it or should I hide it somewhere in his room? Another thought is that maybe the sling is under him in case he requires medical attention and a fast transfer back to bed is needed. I am not sure what to do. The needs to protect the skin from damage and make the patient comfortable are paramount but so is ease of transfers. Maybe we will get to the point of using the slide board more consistently and safely so the sling will become a non-issue soon. I sure hope so.

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About this Blog


    Jason J. Marketti
    Occupation: Physical Therapist Assistant
    Setting: San Jacinto, CA
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