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How to Care for your Wounds After a Fall

Posted on: July 30th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

How to Care for your Wounds After a FallNobody ever likes to fall because it results with pain and discomfort. People who fall receive injuries such as cuts, hip fractures, broken bones or head injuries.  Falls are the most common cause of head/traumatic brain injuries which accounted for almost half of death last year.

Falls are a major health risk for older Americans. According to the CDC, one out of three adults age 65 and older falls each year. With any fall, it usually comes with a bruise or a cut.  Most cases, people take their time getting up, assess the situation and continue on with their day.  But, do they understand how to treat the possible bruising or cuts? Below you’ll see how to care for your wounds after a fall.

Here are some simple bruising treatment tips:

  • To reduce blood flow and the size of the bruise, apply pressure to the area with something cold such as an ice pack
  • Most commonly used, but not recommended, avoid off-the-shelf anti-inflammatories (pain medication)
  • If you take meds for reducing clotting or clotting abnormalities, seek immediate medical attention
  • To reduce pain from a bruise in your leg or foot, keep elevated as much as possible

Here are some simple cut treatment tips:

  • After a cut, find a clean towel or tissue; if nothing else, use your hands
  • Apply temporary bandage, with pressure, for at least 4 minutes.  Larger cuts may require more time.
  • If possible, clean the wound then cover the cut with one or combination of bandages or gauze.
  • If the wound doesn’t stop bleeding, consider using a tourniquet.
    • Used only as a last resort
    • Get to medical attention immediately

LA Medical provides wound care products such as gauze, combine pads, bandage rolls and paper tape.  Stay safe and remember “Watch your step!”

Fall Prevention

Posted on: July 25th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Fall prevention is a great time to think about in the summer. Not autumn, but a fall that that can hurt you or in way too many cases, end in hospital stays or death.

Fall PreventionPeople who fall receive injuries such as cuts, hip fractures, broken bones or head injuries.  Falls are the most common cause of head/traumatic brain injuries which accounted for almost half of death last year.

Falls are not gender equal either. Sorry guys, but fall related deaths are 34 percent higher for men than for women. So what can you do to keep yourself fall-free and healthy? We talked about some major ways to prevent falls last time; here are more tips to keep you healthy and moving:

  • Look at all of the medications your taking and talk to your doctor about them. Different prescriptions from different doctors and  over-the-counter medicines may not work well together and increase your fall risk.
  • Some medications can affect your blood pressure and cause a sudden drop in blood pressure when you stand or move quickly,  leading to a fall.
  • To avoid these sudden drops in blood pressure, don’t go from laying position to standing with sitting up and letting your blood pressure level off.   This also applies if you have been sitting for a period of time. Stand and be sure that you are not dizzy before you take a single step.
  • Avoid reaching and climbing. Keep the things you use most often accessible and handy. Ask for help when getting things from higher cupboards.
  • Don‘t try to lift or carry heavy or large objects (laundry baskets, garbage cans, boxes) alone, ask for help.
  • Avoid long gowns, robes or coats that may cause tripping.
  • Take a look at your footwear. Avoid slippery soles, high heels or sloppy shoe laces.
  • Check with your local senior center or hospital about strength training and balance classes.

Falling Out of Bed

Posted on: July 23rd, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Over time and as you get older, it becomes more and more of a challenge to get out of bed. A hospital bed gives you the options such as a semi-electric option to move the mattress or a simple, mechanical moving option.

Falling Out of Bed

Standard mattresses can seem to get on anyone’s nerves when it comes to overall comfort.  Hospital mattresses offer a standard, coil spring mattress, an air padded mattress, and a gel/foam combination mattress.

Bed accessories present multiple customization options to best suit your needs.  You can choose from having multiple side rails, height specific over-bed tables, and even a foot stool to boost yourself into bed.

In the United States there are 16,100 nursing homes filled with 1.7 million beds.  Just shy of that, 1.5 million people are accommodating those beds.  According to the CDC, each year a typical nursing home with 100 beds reports 100 to 200 falls. Many falls go unreported.

Based on the nursing home statistics above, how many hospital bed falls happen at home? Again, this number of falls goes unreported too.

The best ways to reduce falling out of bed, especially with older adults, is to exercise more frequently.  While exercising, focus on balance and leg strength.

Make sure your medications are right and that you are not overdosing which may cause you to become dizzy or drowsy. Also, set up an appointment yearly with your eye doctor to make sure your vision is good or to get a different set of eye glasses.

Put grab bars in places where you know you have trouble moving around on your own and increase lighting where you cannot see the best.

If you happen to fall at home, don’t panic.  Find a piece of strong, stable furniture to get up with.  Recover from your fall and don’t get up right away.  If you are unable to get up, attempt to crawl to the nearest telephone, door to the outside, personal medical alarm or something that will make a lot of noise.   Make sure to let someone know you fell and seek medical attention if needed.

LA Medical offers a great selection of mattresses, beds and accessories. Let us help get you situated with the perfect bed combination!

Risk of Falling This Summer

Posted on: July 18th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Falls are a major health risk for older Americans. According to the CDC, one out of three adults age 65 and older fall each and every year. Even with that high of a number, less than half talk to their healthcare providers about it, mostly out of pride, fear that they will be labeled “frail” or they think that it’s not a big deal. Let’s be clear, falls can be a VERY big deal.

Falls are the leading cause of injury death in people over age 65 and the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions. 2.3 million nonfatal fall injuries among older adults were treated in emergency departments and more than 662,000 of these patients were hospitalized in 2010.

Here are some simple tips to help reduce your risk of falling this summer:Risk of Falling

 

  • Keep phone cords and electrical cords out of walkways.

 

  • Don’t leave any mail, magazines or newspapers on the floor.

 

  • Remove area rugs- especially those without rubber backing.

 

  • Make sure that bathtubs and showers have secure bath mats or grips.

 

  • Consider adding grab bars in showers and tubs.

 

  • Check your stair railings indoors and outdoors and make sure they are secure. If you don’t have railings, get some.

 

  • Keep indoor stairs free of clutter and make sure all carpeting on the stairs is secure.

 

  • Make sure that all hallways, walkways and paths are well-lit. Don’t be afraid to turn on lights in these areas.

 

  • Wipe up any spills right way and avoid walking on wet floors.

 

  • Have your eyes checked regularly. Vision changes like cataracts and macular degeneration can increase falls. If you get new glasses, especially bifocals, be extra careful maneuvering stairs until you are used to them.

 

LA Medical Retail carries grab bars, canes and bathroom safety equipment that can help to reduce falls.  Talk to one of our equipment specialists today to learn how to you home and life safer.

Fall into a Scooter Seat

Posted on: July 11th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Fall into a Scooter SeatThe National Center for Injury Prevention has found that each year about 47,300 people aged 65 and over land in the emergency room because of injuries sustained from falls while using a walking aid.  Using a walker, you are seven times more likely to fall other than using a cane. People tend to use other peoples walkers that they no longer need anymore or simply borrowing one to save money.

Can’t stand using your walker anymore? Does using your walker make you tired quicker and restricts you from getting around? Walkers are a great source to get around and maintain balance but there is still a risk for falling over.

Men rarely use walkers compared to women.  Women are more at risk of falling or tripping while using a walker.  Common injuries result in fractures, bruises, sprains and abrasions.  Women typically use a walker more than men because older women suffer from weakness and poor balance.  Just shy of 30% of falls are from walking aids.

Why not fall into a scooter seat versus falling on the floor? Electric scooters allow you to control or drive yourself around without standing up. Seniors who cannot walk long distances prefer using a scooter.  A major benefit to scooters is being able to around without help and at your own pace.  LA Medical offers three different scooters for convenient travels down the hallway or at the grocery store. You can choose between a three or four wheeled scooter based on your travel needs.  You can also personalize your own with a list of accessories that range from cup holders, oxygen holder or baskets to hold personal items.

If you are unable to disassemble your scooter, LA Medical also offers ramps and lifts for your van or SUV.

Stair Related Falls

Posted on: July 9th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Stair Related FallsHome related falls are climbing every year with older people.  The Center for Disease Control states that 1.6 million people were treated in emergency departments because of falls.  Most falls happen inside the home in the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, any floor and stairwells.

Just over 1,000 older people die every year after falling down the stairs because they live alone or they don’t have access to a phone.  Stairs are the place where most deaths happen; more than the bathroom or kitchen. According to a new CDC study, 30% of adults from age 65 and above obtained fractures from their falls. People 85 and older were hospitalized due to their fall(s).

Stairs are designed many different ways including where the rails are placed, spiral or straight staircase and even down to how wide or long the stair step is.  Common problems linked to stair related falls are:

  • Child safety gates still up and you forget they’re still up
  • Loose rails
  • Broken stairs – consider painting the top and bottom stair different colors to avoid falling
  • Clear your stairs of any objects for safe travel up and down the stairs

If stair related falls worry you for traveling up and down your house, consider installing a stair lift.  Stair lifts are available for indoor and outdoor use.  Stair lifts can be fully customized to fit your entire home or a stairwell you use the most.  There is no need to move out of the comfort of your home because stairs limit you to one floor.

Stair lifts are a safe and easy way to go up your stairs. It allows you to sit down and travel up your stairs if you’re tired, but not restricting you to use it every time. Each chair has a seat belt and arm rests to allow easy transfer to get in and out of the chair.

LA Medical doesn’t sell stair lifts, but we do offer a great selection of walking aids and accessories.  Our staff will be able to answer all your questions.

Fall Resistant Bathroom

Posted on: July 4th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Getting in and out of the shower or bathtub is a routine most people do daily and they are used to it. We sometimes grab ourselves because we almost slip or slide from wet feet.  It only takes one fall in your bathroom to rethink your usual routine and to start thinking safety.  Bathroom falls happen more often than outdoor or other in house related falls.  80% of falls in the bathroom result in someone having an injury.

Getting around your bathroom shouldn’t be a challenge. There are many things to stay cautious about such as a slippery floor or bathing area, something to hold onto and being able to get around with no danger. People have known that the bathroom can be a hazardous area for slips and falls. Over 234,000 people in the U.S. have fallen in their bathrooms and received nonfatal injurFall Resistant Bathroomies due to bathtub, shower, toilet and sinks.

There are endless possibilities to make your home, especially your bathroom, slip or fall resistant.  Some ideas of a fall resistant bathroom could be:

  • Consider having your bathroom carpeted or combination of tile and carpet. This would help reduce falling where grip is needed the most.
  • For any age, put grab bars near the toilet, bath tub and/or shower to ease your access of getting in and out smoothly
  • Put skid resistant tape on the floor of your shower or bathtub. This helps you move around while getting clean.
  • Keep your floor clear of any obstacles like towels or clothes. This helps reduce tripping.

One idea most people don’t usually think of putting in their bathrooms would be a phone.  In case of an elderly fall, and they can’t get back up, they could crawl to the phone to call a family member or emergency services.

LA Medical Retail is your one stop shop for all of your medical supplies.  LA Medical has a wide selection of bathroom safety equipment to fit all your safety needs.

Prevent Falls in Your Home

Posted on: July 2nd, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Prevent Falls in Your HomeDoes it get on your nerves how you cannot do every day functions around your home based on an obstacle? Problems like stepping down a few stairs, getting in or out of your car, reaching for a glass cup or bathing comfortably?

Older people, 65 and up, fall more frequently and it tends to land them in the hospital due to injury.  Nobody ever likes to fall.  It hurts, confuses you why or how you fell and it makes you second guess doing it again.  The three most common places in your home where there isn’t a lot of traction and more of a risk to fall is your kitchen, bathroom and garage or storage space.

The Center for Disease Control points out the best way older adults can prevent falls is to make their homes safer by reducing tripping hazards, adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding railings on both sides of the stairways and improving the lighting in their homes.

For the active adults and their families, understanding how to reduce someone falling is a step toward knowing your loved ones will be safe.  Here are some tips to prevent falls in your home:

  • Make sure you taking your medications as described by your physician
  • Eat a healthy diet, including calcium-rich foods like milk, yogurt, and broccoli
  • Make sure things are not lying on the floor
  • Don’t take in excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Get your eyes checked regularly

Many people, who fall, even if they are not injured, develop a fear of falling. This fear may cause them to limit their activities, which leads to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness, and in turn increases their actual risk of falling. Most times after a fall, we re-live the scenario in our minds which allows us to correct what we did wrong the last time.

LA Medical strives to provide products that help prevent falls in your home.