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About Me

What are Bedsores and Where are They Common?

Bedsores, commonly referred to as “pressure ulcers,” are skin complications that occur after a long period of constant pressures on particular areas of the skin. Bedsores are most common on the heels, hips, and back, but can also be found on shoulders, elbows, or even the back of the head. The constant pressure on an area of skin ultimately impairs blood flow to the region under pressure. Bedsores are most commonly found in individuals that have restricted movement.

As this helpful article by Russo, Russo, & Slania explains, bedsores are unfortunately commonly found in the elderly under the care of a nursing home. Sadly, bedsores are often the result of inadequate care and a negligent caregiver. The article estimates that 10 percent of nursing home residents suffer from bedsores. Moreover, the article expressed that bedsores are often a sign of an overall systematic failure of a nursing home to care for the inflicted elderly individual. This is a tragic realization, given that nursing home residents are admitted by family members who assume their loved ones are being adequately cared for.

Depending on the severity and stage of the bedsores, this skin condition can be extremely painful. Fortunately, if detected early enough, bedsores can be treated. In fact, simply turning or moving are ways to redistribute pressure and encourage blood flow to the affected area.

As I stated, treatability and the pain associated with bedsores often depends on how long they have been on the skin. The National Pressure Ulcer Advisor Panel has classified four injury stages of pressure ulcers. The stages are as follows:
Stage 1: Partial-thickness skin loss with exposed dermis – At this stage, the bedsore is difficult to spot, but there may be changes in sensation, temperature, or firmness on the affected area.
Stage 2: Partial-thickness skin loss with exposed dermis – At this stage, the wound appears moist and pink or red. Bedsores do not reveal fat exposure, nor does it reveal the lower layers of skin.
Stage 3: Full-thickness skin loss – Bedsores at this stage reveals fat layers of the skin. The edges of the wounded area may also appear rolled. Depending on the affected area, bedsores at this stage may reveal deep skin damage.
Stage 4: Full-thickness skin and tissue loss – At the fourth and final stage, bedsores this bad could lead to exposed muscle, tendon, ligament, or cartilage in the wounded area. At this stage, bedsores are severe.

It is important to keep an eye out for bedsores before it is too late. You do not want to find that your loved one has suffered for so long that bedsores are at a later stage as defined by the National Pressure Ulcer Advisor Panel. As the previously-mentioned article states, you should be especially vigilant for finding bedsores that have formed on your loved ones that are residing in a nursing home.

Oklahoma Traffic Rant

What is it with the traffic in Oklahoma these days? I drive the state quite a bit and it seems to me, no matter which direction I turn, I end up hitting traffic. Tulsa is no good. Oklahoma City is almost as bad. I’m even seeing it in Muskogee.

I don’t get it. The state is massive. There’s plenty of room to spread out. What’s convinced everyone to drive the same way I’m going at just the moment I need to get there.

Now, I expect this stuff when I’m heading into Dallas or Fort Worth. That place is famous for its backups, and it’s a massive city besides. But Muskogee? Come on.

It’s accidents of course. Oklahomans just don’t seem to know how to drive anymore. I’m actually glad they’ve passed a no cell phone while driving law recently. I love my phone, but the number of people I see swerving between lanes or slowing down on the interstate just to drive up next to them and see a phone in their hands, it’s maddening. Drive first, scan Tumblr later. I don’t care about the freedom issue here. I need to get somewhere, and you phone people are too busy driving badly and running into each other.

I suppose I ought to be more worried about getting hurt myself with these people on the road. Apparently, car accidents are the leading cause of injury and death in this fine state. Imagine that, right? I guess we could blame Twitter instead though. Or Budweiser.

Check out some of these statistics I found on an Oklahoma motor vehicle accident attorney website: 2015 had 694 accidents with injuries because of driver distraction in Oklahoma. That’s the FaceBook people right there. Of course, that pales in comparison to the something like 2,300 people injured due to alcohol in the same year.

And the biggest stat of all: 650 Oklahomans DIE each year because of car crashes. And something like 30,000 are injured. There are only like 50,000 people here to begin with! How do they get these people back on the road quickly enough to run into someone else?

I joke, of course. It’s serious stuff, I know, but I can’t help but be frustrated. I’m just trying to get to Muskogee for goodness’ sake. I’ve got business to do there. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shown up late for a meeting because of the traffic caused by accidents. More than a couple times in the last month at least. And now that I’ve looked up those statistics, I’ve got a whole new set of things to worry about.

It’s almost enough to make me want to get rid of the car and start taking the bus. But then, what’s the bus going to do? Just sit in the traffic. I guess I’m stuck dealing with Oklahoma drivers no matter what.

Minimizing Signs of Aging with Fractional Rejuvenation

Skin fractional rejuvenation is a skin treatment that uses lasers to treat a number of skin conditions, such as wrinkles and other signs of photoaging. They are performed using a machine that would emit high-intensity light pulses that would penetrate and heat the deep dermis (of skin layer) and stimulates the formation of collagen and elastin. This would result in fresher and younger-looking skin.

Just as with any type of skin treatment, you have to make sure you are a good candidate for fractional rejuvenation. Talking with your dermatologist can help you understand if the procedure or treatment is right for you, but here are some things that can make you unqualified for a fractional rejuvenation skin treatment:

  • You have a history of skin scarring (such as keloid or hypertropic)
  • You are suffering from a bacterial or viral skin infection
  • You are suffering from blood flow, immune, or skin disorders which can cause healing complications
  • If you are suffering from acne and is using isotretinoin, or have used it within the past 6 to 12 months (it can increase chances of scarring after the treatment)
  • If you have earlier fractional rejuvenation treatments that resulted in changes in skin color, scarring, or fibrosis (thickened tissue)

Factors such as skin color can make results of fractional rejuvenation differ – darker skin tones tend to heal differently from lighter skin toned people. In order to get the best results from your fractional skin rejuvenation treatment, consider a combination of other techniques, such as chemical peels or dermabrasion. Your dermatologist would be able to suggest the best option or method for your skin type and condition.

The Importance of Trucking Company Training

Driving a large commercial truck, whether it’s a tractor-trailer, a tanker, or any other similar vehicle, requires substantial training. Trucks handle considerably differently than most other automotive vehicles, and there are a number of unique factors which truck drivers must be made aware of in order to ensure that they can operate safely on the road.

Trucking companies, therefore, have an important responsibility in ensuring that their workers are trained properly before allowing them to start driving. The unfortunate truth, however, is that far too many trucking companies fail to take the necessary precautions when they hire and train new drivers, allowing those who may not be fully prepared to get behind the wheel.

A tragic illustration of this fact can be found in a case out of Texas. In 2011, Daniel Rhodes was struck and killed by a large commercial truck, the driver of which was attempting to return to the road after another vehicle had forced him off. According to arguments made by the attorney Jim Hart, who represented Rhodes’ surviving family in a wrongful death suit against the companies employing the driver, with appropriate training, the driver would have known not to attempt to get back on the road in that type of situation.

Hart, along with other counsel from his firm Williams Kherkher, was able to recover damages of approximately $11 million for his clients in their suit. However, if the companies had simply made the choice to ensure that their drivers were properly instructed, this tragic situation could likely have been avoided entirely.

Nursing Home Abuse Reports

A report released by the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee revealed that abuse occurs regularly in one in three nursing facilities. In addition to verbal and physical abuse, some incidents of sexual abuse occurred. A woman on the board of a nursing home mentioned that grand-scale studies can drum up inflated, and thus, problematic statistics. She mentioned that stringent protocol requires facilities to report extremely trivial incidents, like two residents shoving one another, as abuse.

However problematic the method of cataloging is, the Special Investigations Division reviewed numerous abuse cases much more consequential than patient disagreements. The report showed that of the 9,000 incidents reported within a two-year period, nearly 2,000 of the cases involved serious, possibly fatal, negligence in nursing homes.

Staffing is a major concern in reforming nursing facilities. Many nursing homes hire under-qualified candidates that work double to triple shifts. Additionally, the training that new candidates receive often fails to teach workers practical skills in interacting with high-needs patients. These poor working conditions lead to poor quality of care for elderly residents.

The report also found that the quality of care in not-for-profit facilities exceeded that of for-profit nursing facilities. Many not-for-profit nursing facilities are community-based or religious-based initiatives. The Special Investigations Division posits that since the people working for these organizations tend to be working for more personal reasons, the residents are in a more attentive and compassionate setting.

This leaves the climate surrounding the for-profit facility grim. Of the 17,000 nursing homes in the United States nearly 11,000 are for-profit businesses. In an interview, a certified nurse mentioned that qualified nurses often don’t want to work in nursing facilities because of the low pay and poor working conditions. Qualified nurses can just as easily find employment for better pay and benefits in hospitals or other out-patient care centers.

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