PBF are pro-actively helping those living with SCI by providing specially designed hand held mirrors to help patients care for their skin and check for pressure injuries.
With the help of Courtney Thane (our marketing intern) we recently launched our “Don’t be dumb, check your bum!” campaign. Our campaign encourages regular skin checks so that any potential pressure injuries can be identified early, in order that preventative action can be taken and healing times dramatically reduced.
Courtney worked closely with Richard Higgins (PBF’s Peer Support Co-ordinator) to come up with a design and catchy tag-line to highlight the importance of this simple yet essential check, that could literally save someone’s life.
“By using a quirky eye-catching design on our mirrors and by injecting a bit of humour, we hope that those living with SCI will take notice of our important message and get into the habit of checking their skin everyday” said Courtney.
A pressure injury is an area of skin that breaks down due to prolonged pressure cutting off the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the tissue cells. A pressure injury starts as reddened skin. Without intervention it gets progressively worse, forming an open area and then a crater. So a small unbroken skin patch can progress to a potentially life-threatening wound involving extensive tissue death and infection.
The lack of sensation makes people with a spinal cord injury especially vulnerable to pressure injuries, as they are unable to feel potential skin damage. In addition to this, the lack of movement makes pressure relief more difficult.
Damage to the skin after spinal cord injury can have a huge detrimental effect on health and well-being. Pressure injuries can result in patients being confined to bed for days, weeks, or even months and years. Additionally, any break in the skin can be an opening for infection to enter. Keeping off one area can put other areas at risk, so one pressure injury can lead to another.
The PBF Peer Support team consists of individuals already living with spinal cord injuries who are leading busy and meaningful lives after injury. They are available to speak with patients on the Spinal Unit at Fiona Stanley Hospital and to families and friends who may need to understand the impacts of spinal cord injury; or who may be seeking answers to some difficult questions. They can offer non-clinical advice, information and friendship.
Help us reduce the impact and incidence of spinal cord injury by making a tax-deductible donation today. PBF Australia is a registered charity with Deductible Gift Recipient status (DGR) and tax receipts are available upon request. To donate please call 1800 809 780 or click here pbf.asn.au/donate.
For more detailed information on pressure sores, spinal cord injury and patient health please visit the Spinal WA website www.spinalwa.org.