Why is “Turning” so Important to Prevention of Bed Sores?

By Nursing Home Law Center

Turning Bedsore Prevention

Turning refers to the repositioning of a patient at fixed time intervals– usually at least every two hours or as directed by a physician. Turning is done to ensure adequate blood circulation to the area. Blood circulation is crucial to reduce the development of bed sores. Many facilities have incorporated ‘turning charts’ to help staff keep track of where to re-position a patient.

Turning is especially important in patients who are in a sitting position (the head above 30 degrees) because all of their weight gets pressed into the buttock area. Consequently, many patients who are confined to wheelchairs should be moved into a bed (with their head even level with their body) to help alleviate pressure build up.

Many situations where a resident develops a bed sore at a hospital or skilled nursing facility, stem from the fact that the staff failed to properly turn the person.

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