Donation Helps Prevent Pressure Ulcers

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Pressure Ulcers

Saskatoon Health Region's special care homes within the city received a generous $30,000-donation from the Royal Canadian Legion's Poppy Campaign Fund to assist in the prevention of pressure ulcers.

Money will be used to purchase specialty products and support surfaces (gel pads, wheelchair cushions, body positioning wedges, air-filled pillows, etc.) to assist long-term care facilities in the prevention and treatment of wounds.

"Once a pressure ulcer develops healing can be slow, painful and costly. One of our goals is to prevent these wounds from occurring in the first place. There is strong evidence that specialty products and support surfaces are effective preventive tools," said Shan Landry, Vice-President Community Services, Saskatoon Health Region. "We currently have a pilot project in the Region which aims to prevent and reduce pressure ulcers. This pilot is essential in ensuring staff are able to recognize individuals at risk and to apply the appropriate interventions."

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Pressure ulcers result from constant pressure to skin and muscle. High-risk factors include decreased mobility, advanced age, decreased activity, malnutrition and chronic medical conditions. Senior citizens and anyone who must remain in a chair, bed or wheelchair for long periods are at increased risk. If untreated, these wounds can be fatal due to complications from infections.

This donation was made possible thanks to the Royal Canadian Legion Branches #63, 78 and 362, Army and Navy Airforce Veterans Association, the Korean Veterans Association and, most importantly, the people of Saskatoon who continue to provide donations to the Legion's annual Poppy Campaign.

Each year, poppy funds are made available through the generosity of the Canadian public and held in trust for Canadians by the Legion. Funds are used to assist veterans and their families, and are reinvested into the community.

"Thank you to all the people who continue to donate to the poppy fund each year. These donations allow us to continue serving our country by supporting many worthy causes, such as purchasing medical equipment and services for seniors. The Legion is happy to reinvest these funds back into the Saskatoon community," said Al Mahoney, on behalf of the Royal Canadian Legion's Poppy Campaign and Saskatoon veterans.

"On behalf of our residents and their families, we want to thank the Legion for their continued support. This is the second year they have so generously provided this funding, which will make a huge difference in the lives of our residents," said Dave Gibson, Director Continuing Care and Geriatric Services, Saskatoon Health Region.

Within the last two years, the Legion has provided a total of $60,000 to the Health Region for the prevention of pressure ulcers. All long-term care facilities within the city, home to about 1,500 residents, will benefit from this donation; 81 per cent of them are at risk for pressure ulcers. One month of care in the community for a pressure ulcer is $9,000.

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