Nurse Provides Tips on Preventing Pressure Ulcers in People with Spinal Cord Injury
Prevention strategies can lower risk of common complication among people with paralysis.
People with spinal cord injury and other conditions that limit movement are at great risk for pressure ulcer development.
Many risk factors predispose people with spinal cord injury to the development of these wounds; factors include impaired sensation, mobility, spasms and respiratory issues. At Shepherd Center, Cathy Koerner, RN, CWOCN, CWS, and her colleagues have implemented a comprehensive program to prevent these ulcers among patients while they are in the hospital and after they discharge.
In a new 10-minute podcast from Shepherd Center Radio, Koerner shares some pressure ulcer prevention strategies, which include scheduled turning and repositioning in beds and wheelchairs; management of bowel and bladder issues; proper support surfaces; and regular checks of the skin. This podcast and others from Shepherd Center Radio are available here or as download from the link above.
Koerner is a recently retired, certified wound/ostomy nurse at Shepherd Center. She has been a certified wound/ostomy nurse for 29 years working in various healthcare settings, including acute care hospitals, home health, wound care clinics and nursing homes. She worked at Shepherd Center for the past 10 years of her career. Prevention and management of pressure ulcers is a primary focus of her practice. Koerner has been an educator on the college level teaching all aspects of nursing at various institutions. She is a graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the certified wound/ostomy nursing program at Emory University in Atlanta.
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 935 inpatients, 541 day program patients and more than 7,300 outpatients each year.