Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, cause problems for many patients with limited mobility. They increase the risk of death and hospitalization, and decrease quality of life. They are also expensive to treat. Bedsores are caused by the pressure when bones under the skin meet support surfaces (like mattresses) and blood flow in that area is reduced.
Health Quality Ontario Reviews Frequency of Turning Patients
Bedsores are prevented by using support that spreads pressure out more evenly (high-density foam mattresses) and by turning people in their beds so they rest on the same spot for a shorter time. High-density foam mattresses reduce bedsores even when patients are turned less often. Less frequent turning could have other benefits, such as decreasing the number of times sleeping patients are disturbed and freeing up staff to do other work.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care endorses these recommendations.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided the following response: The Ministry agrees with these recommendations and supports their widespread dissemination. Currently, the Ministry has requirements through regulation as well as funding policies to support prevention of pressure ulcers. Through regulation the Ministry requires long-term care homes to have a wound treatment program as well as a repositioning plan for any resident who is dependent on staff for repositioning (repositioning is known to prevent pressure ulcers). No further regulation changes are currently planned. Through funding policies the Ministry supports the purchase of therapeutic surfaces such as high density foam mattresses which help in the prevention and care of pressure ulcers.