Canadian researchers and doctors at the University of Calgary developed a pair of underwear that are specially designed to help prevent the development of pressure ulcers, also commonly referred to as bedsores. Bedsores are unsightly, extremely painful wounds that develop on the skin at pressure points on the body. Normally forming at locations on the body where the skin is pinched under the weight of the individual, these sores form open wounds that are very challenging to heal. Bedsores are a significant problem in the elderly population in the United States, and it is a travesty any time a nursing home resident develops a bedsore because they are largely preventable if the resident is moved often enough. With the goal of reducing the occurrence of bedsore development in immobilized patients, such as those who have suffered from a spinal cord injury, the Canadian research team tested out its special underwear on 37 test subjects.
How These Special Underwear Work
The special underwear includes two electrode pads sewn into the underwear – one pad per cheek. The electrodes were then activated for 10-second intervals every 10 minutes for half a day. While it may not sound like a pleasant experience to be shocked on the bottom with electricity periodically, the jolts were low intensity, using just enough current to simulate normal fidgeting and twitching behavior that non-paralyzed muscles normally do. The idea behind the electrified underpants is to engage the paralyzed muscles at regular intervals to promote blood flow and temporarily relieve pressure in that part of the body.
Who Is Ideally Suited For These Electrified Underwear?
Residents who are paralyzed, partially paralyzed and those who have limited mobility are ideal candidates for the electrified underwear. These individuals have high rates of muscle inactivity and artificial stimulation of these muscles can be very good for their circulation. Similarly, any resident who is at an increased risk of developing bedsores would be a good candidate for this innovative technology. Those residents with diabetes, or obesity issues may find the use of these special underpants to be a good supplemental form of bedsore prevention.
Use This Technology as Supplemental Care; But Don’t Abuse It
While these underwear have proven to be useful, and are very popular with nurses and residents alike, they are not meant to be a substitute for adequate care. Nothing has proven more effective at bedsore prevention than the in-person care and periodic repositioning done by nursing staff at in a nursing home facility. The fear is that understaffed nursing homes might use technologies like the electrified underwear in place of providing each resident with the appropriate care deserved.
Contacting a Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney
Bedsores are almost always a clear indication that appropriate care is not being administered to residents and serves as a sign of neglect in the nursing home. If your loved one has developed a bedsore while living at a nursing home facility, please contact an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney immediately. The experienced attorneys at Rooth Law Firm are available to help you and can be reached either online or by telephone today by calling 877-356-3007.
Photo Credit: chefranden