Bangladesh has one of the highest number of its citizens paralyzed as there is lack of treatment for the poor and disadvantaged. Many a time even a small spinal cord fracture can lead to a life threatening situation if not treated on time. In poverty struck families these patients become a liability to their families and to the society. Nurture and Touching Souls International has been working to make the lives of such individuals better.
We offer pressure care for paralyzed patients. Patients admitted to Nurture often arrive with complications as a result of spinal cord injury. The most common complication is the prevalence of pressure sores caused by inappropriate care and treatment either at home or in medical establishments. Pressure sores commonly known as bed sore are areas of injured skin and tissue, usually caused by sitting or lying in one position for too long. This reduces the blood supply to the skin and the tissues under the skin, causing tissue to die and a wound to form. Around 95% of pressure sores can be prevented through a holistic approach to skin care. Appropriate treatment and inter-disciplinary teamwork can lead to the complete healing of the sore.
Paralyzed people are especially vulnerable as they are less able to change position and sensation of touch, pain and temperature is frequently impaired or absent. Bony parts of the body are most at risk including heels, hips, elbows, the base of the spine and shoulder blades.
Left untreated, pressure sores can become infected leading to severe damage. If the infection spreads to the bone, surgery may be required. Infected pressure sores can ultimately be fatal. In a joint venture with Nurture, Touching Souls International,a nonprofit organization, treat paralyzed patients with pressure sores involving the following procedures:
Relieving the pressure with postural turning
Early treatment if bacterial infection is present
Removal of all dead tissue
Ensuring adequate fluid and nutrition intake to assist healing
Maintaining good skin care
Patient education to avoid further sores developing.
Treatment of bed-sores requires quite a long period to heal. For disabled and paralyzed patients admitted at Nurture’s rehabilitation center, it takes couple of months to more than a year for each patient to heal.