Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Smart dressing

Well, I'd like to write a post about dressing smartly in a professional yet feminine sort of way. Alas, in yesterday's Chico's and clunky Clarks, I am supremely unqualified to do so. This post, actually, is about the new materials that wound dressings are made out of, and the people who need them.

It's a fact, elderly people live dangerously. The statistics are grim; their chances for pitching over while tottering about the bathroom or pitching out while their supposed to be in bed are huge. And the consequences of their injuries are often disabling and life-threatening.

Two weeks ago, my Mom reached out for something on her bedside table. Overextended she grabbed for the corner of her bedside table with the skin of her forearm and headed for the ground, leaving not a scratch but a divot in her arm. This open sore has reached Grand Canyon proportions, festering with infected goo and harboring a large piece of partially dead tissue in the middle.

The nurses have done a marvelous job of working on her arm, but Mom's immune system is as tired as she is. How then to do the best we can cleaning up the infection and promoting the growth of new tissue from below? I'm a cognitive sort of doc, and talking with Mom about her wound simply will not make it better.

Besides the good ministrations of her doc at the home, I am privileged to have made the acquaintance via the blogging world with Suture for a living, aka Dr. Bates, an Arkansas plastic surgeon. No point in recreating all her information on these fancy new dressings; check out her post at
Dressings for wounds. They've got dressing for dry wounds, fragile skin, festering wounds, hemorrhagic wounds, and wounds that smell bad. I am pleased to have Dr. Bates and Duoderm on our side. Now if only some fashionista would take me shopping.


Anonymous said...

Thanks. This is a post I can use too. My son has pressure sores on his hands..he had severe cp and always sleeps on his stomach, therefore the pressure sores. I appreciate the resource for wound dressings. And I remember before Dad passed...he had wounds from skin cancer that had leaked to his paratid glands....sweet memories of being with my folks, searching out the wound care dressing supplies at a medical supply co. while they "vacationed" with us in Palm Desert just weeks before he passed. So I know of which you speak in your search to help your dear mom. Anne onegirlfriday

Ruth said...

When I go to conferences, I see what big business various wound dressings have become. Many are far more expensive than a designer gown. My daughter had an I&D of good sized abscess (staph) 3 months ago. We have done the packing and dressings with help from the clinic, but the wound is still draining a little. Thankfully I haven't had to pay for all the fancy material used. Wounds can be very slow to heal, even more so in the elderly.

kenju said...

Clunky Clark's are my passion! They are the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn.

Mauigirl said...

Glad there are some dressings to help wounds like your mom's. I hope she recovers quickly. Their skin is so fragile at that age.