Now let's look at the skin as a system.
This is so important. It's actually
your largest organ.
And our goal here is to
prevent skin breakdown.
Why did I stop? Because if a
patient develops skin breakdown,
that's on us, okay?
If a patient develops a bedsore on
our watch, we didn't do our jobs.
So if we're talking about a pressure sore,
or a decubitus ulcer, or a bedsore,
those are the names we use.
But if our patients develop them,
it's our fault, okay?
And stroke patients have an even
higher risk of skin breakdown,
because of their immobility.
Oh, I just gave you the
answer to the question.
Why are stroke patients at a higher
risk for skin breakdown?
Well, we started talking about it, but let's
break it down and unpack it a little more.
Skin breakdown leads to pressure ulcers,
and that's because the skin
or underlying tissue is damaged because
of a loss of blood flow to that area.
Okay, that's how they happen,
but why is there a loss of
blood flow to that area?
Where you're really at risk for skin breakdown,
the areas like, believe it or not,
the back of your head
because of the pressure that's there
if you're laying in bed all the time,
at bony prominences, like elbows,
or on your back, or your heels.
So, first concept I want to keep
repeating over and over again
that nurses are the ones who
prevent skin breakdown.
So you need to make sure that Mr. Johnson
is up and mobile as much as possible.
If I had a patient who couldn't turn
themselves, it's my job to turn them,
reposition them, prop them with
pillows every 2 hours.
That's the longest I should let a
patient go laying in 1 position.
I also always want to be on watch
looking at their skin and
assessing their skin.
A great excuse, I have never had
a patient turn me down asking,
"Would you mind if I rub some
lotion on your back?"
That way, I can turn them over,
and I can assess their skin
all the way down.
So, again, I promise you, I've
never had a patient tell me,
"No, no, please. Don't rub my back."
Usually, they enjoy that because they've
been kind of stiff and being in bed.
But remember, stroke patients are at
an increased risk for skin breakdown,
because they're not as mobile as a normal
patient or even as they were before the stroke.
The more pressure points
you have on your body,
that's going to compromise
the blood supply to that area,
and the tissue's going to be damaged.
The first sign that you're heading for
skin breakdown is a reddened area,
so intervene quickly when you notice that.
So, it's because they're immobile,
because they're sitting or lying
more than you normally would.
They might have some extra edema,
or they might have just poor
circulation before they ever came in.
But because they are not as mobile as
they were before coming into the hospital,
they're at an increased risk.
Now, things that make it even worse.
If the patient is a smoker, the circulation
is obviously compromised.
If they have poor nutrition, they're
probably likely going to have
lower serum protein, and that's
going to give us more issues.
If they're overweight or underweight.
See, if they're overweight, that's
going to be extra pressure.
If they're underweight, they're going
to have more bones sticking out
in places that an overweight
So, neither one is good for
preventing skin breakdown.
Normal weight is going to be the best.
If they're incontinent, you can
have stool or of urine
that's going to be very
difficult on their peri area.
And if they're older, because their
skin is much more fragile, then.
So I know if I have a stroke
patient who's not mobile,
they're sitting and lying more often,
and they're a smoker, or they
don't have good nutrition,
they're not of normal weight, they're
incontinent or they're older,
this is going to be a real risk,
and I've got to watch them
extra closely for skin breakdown.
Many hospitals do what they call skin
rounds and they will go through and look at
every patient in the hospital on
a certain day of the week,
and document what their skin looks like.
But I want to let you know
that skin breakdown
might not be there at the beginning of your
shift, but the patient can sure develop it
in one 12-hour shift if you're not on call.
So, I want you to practice with Mr. Johnson.
What position would you put him in?
How would you protect his paralyzed side?
What things would you do
for pressure relief?
And what things are involved
in proper skin hygiene?
Okay. Let's break that down. Now, I wanted
you to have a couple of, kind of,
some ideas in your mind maybe of what
you've seen or what you've read about before.
But now we've got 5 pictures
for you to look at
how you would position Mr. Johnson.
Now, we've given you examples.
The dark shaded part
is the side that's been affected, so
it's either weak or it's paralyzed.
Now look how we have the patients
in each one of these pictures.
Now we have the paralyzed side in the first
one when they're lying on their left side.
Look at the extremity that's laid out.
Look at the extremity that
we have on the pillow.
So this patient is right-sided paralysis.
We have their left leg
propped up on a pillow
nd you put that pillow underneath
their knee and their ankle,
because I don't want them
torqued at all, right?
We have their left arm spread out like
that, and then we have their right arm
resting on their body. You can also
put a pillow underneath there.
Now I want you to pause
the video and pay attention.
Think through, ask yourself these questions.
Which side is the patient paralyzed on?
Which arm is on a pillow?
Where's the right leg? Where's the left leg?
Which extremities use pillows?
So think through each one
of these 5 positions
to help you kind of get
a frame of reference
of how we would safely position
a patient on their right,
on their left, on their back, or sitting up.
Okay. Welcome back.
Hey, I'd encourage you, even if you
really wanted to go the extra mile,
try this on yourself.
Pretend that 1 side of your body or the
other side of your body is paralyzed.
Use the pillows in your own
bed to practice positioning.
Now, if you've got a brave family member,
if they'll let you practice on them,
I recommend you doing that, too.