Gwen Jewell is the CEO & Founder of the Backbone Wedge, a revolutionary new wedge that prevents bedsores that is changing lives for people who are immobile.
REDWOOD CITY, CA, USA, February 16, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — With the prevalence of pressure sores at an all time epidemic high in the United States, millions of people are looking for a way to prevent and treat this horrible condition.
Billions of dollars are spent every year to prevent pressure sore, yet still more than 2.5 million people will develop them each year and over 60,000 of those people will die as a consequence of complications resulting from them.
A pressure sore is localized injury to skin and/or underlying tissue that can extend down to the bone, and it results from sustained pressure particularly in patients who need to stay in bed or immobile for periods of time.
Eric Thomas Patrick, a spinal cord injury patient and client of Gwen’s BackBone Wedge says that regular wedges that you can buy “for super cheap, super suck”. They are “hard and don’t maintain their shape”.
The problem with most wedges is that they tend to become hard after 15 minutes. So the initial pressure relief becomes pressure inducing on the exact location of the pressure sore. More pressure on the pressure sore is exactly why they are very difficult to manage and treat. In response to the pressure, patients start twisting and turning whatever way they can trying to get comfortable again.
This can be hard on caregivers who feel they are constantly assisting their loved ones find the right position.
In addition, traditional wedges tend to push patients to a steep angle, which causes pressure on the bony prominences of the opposite side of the body. This can lead to new pressure sores in various locations.
The BackBone Wedge is different because there is zero pressure touching the pressure sore. As Eric says “My bootie floats with the BackBone Wedge!” And just as importantly, the BackBone Wedge doesn’t force you into an awkward angle. The BackBone Wedge easily slips under the patient, allowing the coccyx area (the bony prominence at the end of the spine and the area most likely to develop a pressure sore) to float in the air.
Patients love it because it gives them a sense of security knowing there is zero pressure on their pressure sore, and caregivers love it because they now reposition the patient less frequently than they used to.
And if that weren’t enough all on its own, Gwen Jewell, who herself is a wound care nurse and hospital lead of the pressure injury prevention program, the BackBone Wedge has an antimicrobial covering that can be easily cleaned.
Have you ever seen drainage from a pressure wound soak through a flimsy pillow cover and absorb into a wedge or pillow? It’s disgusting, and more than that, it’s a petri dish of infection. Infection is the dreaded complication of pressure sores that all patients and caregivers fear. Christopher Reeves, best known for his role as Superman, died from cardiac collapse and arrest which was a direct result of an infection from his pressure sore.
Gwen’s quest to create the perfect wedge is not only motivated by her love of her patients, but its personal too. Gwen’s father developed complications from a pressure sore while he was in the hospital, and Gwen’s brother has a spinal cord injury, so she is always on the lookout for reddened skin and ways to prevent pressure sores.
Gwen found various types of foam wedges, gel pods, air mattresses, alarm technology and pillows that either weren’t helpful, weren’t available in the community or weren’t able to adequately reduce pressure and a clean environment at the site of injury. Both her father and brother inspired her to find something better on the market.
Other technologies are out there that are used in the hospital setting that can tell nurses when it’s time to turn a patient, but those are not available in the community setting and they still don’t address the problem of finding a way to get the patient in a good position or reducing exposure to drainage from an existing pressure sore. Putting a new pillowcase over a bacteria-infested wedge isn’t an effective means of protecting the wound from infection.
When she couldn’t find what she needed, Gwen literally created what she thought was the perfect wedge. She had 3 major requirements – good positioning, pressure relief and antimicrobial.
For several years, Gwen worked on the perfect wedge design, using her brother as her test patient. And finally, her hard work paid off. Gwen designed the BackBone Wedge using her 3 simple principles.
First, the BackBone Wedge allows for easy positioning for both the patient and caregiver. The smooth surface and crescent shape of the BackBone Wedge make it easy to put in position, verify correct positioning, and because the patients don’t feel jammed on their sides, the need to reposition is dramatically reduced. As Gwen’s client Eric notes, “quad pads and other wedges aren’t designed for getting you off your back at all. With the BackBone Wedge, I don’t get thrown to the side and my body does not get twisted like it did with every other wedge out there.”
Second, the BackBone Wedge offloads pressure. The caregiver can literally slide his hand under the BackBone Wedge and feel that there is zero pressure on the pressure sore. This gives the patient and caregiver relief knowing that pressure sores can’t develop and old ones are able to heal.
And third, the BackBone Wedge has an antimicrobial covering, so if the wound does drain, the BackBone Wedge can be easily cleaned and disinfected, without worry of virulent bacteria growing on the material inside the wedge.
The BackBone Wedge has been trialed in hospitals nationally and internationally with great enthusiasm, however Gwen is most excited about the potential impact it will have for families like hers who can’t afford around the clock nurses and an unlimited supply of wedges at their disposal. Patients at home in the community now have access to the top of the line, hospital grade technology that actually prevents pressure sores.
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Source: EIN Presswire