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Wound Care Articles and Insights
July 6, 2023

Camp Woundless Pressure Injury Prevention

Kallie Christensen

Road trips are a summer fan favorite to get to far out destinations, and they are an excellent time to practice singing skills, sit for long periods of time, load up on junk food, and sugary drinks that promise energy. [Surf wagon coming to a severe stop 🛑] buuuuut, that is not the perfect woundless summer playlist. In fact, other than stretching your vocal cords, road trips can do a number on your body, especially for those who are at a higher risk of developing a pressure injury.

Pressure Injuries affect up to 3 million Americans each year, and typically occur over bony prominences caused by prolonged pressure, friction, and shear forces. A Pressure Injury can develop in less than 3 hours for those with underlying conditions like heart disease, immobility, and even poor nutrition.  3 Hours. Even the ol’ VW Van can go longer than that on a full tank of gas if driving the speed limit. 

However, that’s not going to stop us, it’s summer camp or bust! By sharing these with a patient before their vacation, or following these easy car ride Pressure Injury prevention tips, will help kick the risk of developing a pressure injury to the curb: 

  1. Stay Active 
  2. Be sure to get up and move at the minimum every two hours, and reposition every 15 minutes if possible to prevent pressure injuries. 
  3. Mindful Snacking & Drinking
  4. Road trips often present the opportune moment for snacking, but a high-sugar diet can lead to inflammation and poor circulation, which will lead to tissue damage. 
  5. Pack a Pillow
  6. Use a pillow or a supportive cushion to alleviate pressure in areas during long car rides. Place behind the lower back, under the bottocks, or even under the thighs. 
  7. Skin Checks
  8. During long car rides, regularly inspect your skin for any signs of redness, irritation. If you notice any changes, take appropriate action immediately, like repositioning or adjusting cushions.

Woundless Summer Contest:

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A good way to keep track of when to move is after every three songs, unless you’re listening to 70-90s rock, then it’s more like after every 1-2 songs. Just remember to also check that phone cords and the seat belt buckle are not being sat on, including wallets in the back pocket, to reduce any added pressure and friction. 

Keep on rolling down the highway, and climbing up that winding canyon road, Woundless Summer Camp is on the horizon.

Getting out into the great outdoors, especially camping, is one of the best ways to celebrate summer, but it comes with its own challenges for those who are at risk of developing a chronic wound. But, this is Camp Woundless, and the camp hosts have all of the essential steps and tips you need to live up to the camp’s mission of a Woundless Summer. So, do some stretches from the long car ride, take a deep breath of that fresh mountain air, and find the bug spray, because Summer Camp has begun!

The most important step to any outdoor sleepover is to figure out sleeping arrangements. Especially if tenting it. Sleeping is one of the only times that the body can go hours without moving, and if the ground is uneven or rocks can be felt under the sleeping bag and mat, the risk of developing a pressure injury increases. 

Sources

🏕️ Host Tip: Look into camping cots and hammocks to sleep off of the ground. Even air mattresses can deflate throughout the night leaving the sorry sleeper flat in the dirt… metaphorically, or do we mean literally?! 

But, camping isn’t for sleeping (besides mid-afternoon naps, camping is most definitely for those), it’s for all of the fun activities that usually involve sharp objects. And these activities should be enjoyed by everyone. Even those caring for or preventing a wound, but because of the nature of these outdoor hobbies, extra precaution should be taken.

🏕️ Host Tip: Fishing & Hiking

  • 🎣 Fishing Safe Practices: Never store fishing hooks in soft flimsy containers. Always wear hard sole shoes that hooks cannot puncture, and if you’re experiencing any inflammation or  swelling in your hands, have someone else tie your line to prevent hooking yourself. Treble hooks can be real trouble when hooked into the skin. 
  • ⛰️Hiking Safe Practices:  When it comes to hiking, always go prepared with the correct gear & resources. Look for hiking shoes that have durable and thick soles, and go up around the ankle for added support. Since rocks can be sharp and make for uneven terrain, anyone can benefit from using hiking sticks to assist with balance. Falling while hiking could not only cause a serious injury, but also the ability to hike out. Which is why everyone should always carry water, snacks, and a first aid kit. 
  • 🧦 Don’t Forget Your Socks: Wearing inappropriate socks can cause decreased circulation, pressure points from friction, and burn the skin. Choose socks that are snug, breathable, and go above the back of the shoe being worn.

Although you can go Fishin’ in The Dark and hiking in the moonlight, Woundless Summer Camp hosts advise that you stick with more conventional nighttime camp fun. FIRES! Camp Fires and Fireworks are a great way to spend time in the dark while in the mountains (🐻Smokey the Bear is here to remind everyone to always look at campfire and firework restrictions in your area before lighting up). 

🏕️ Host Tip: Campfires & Fireworks

  • 🔥Campfire Safe Practices: Be mindful of sitting too close to campfires, feet and legs can easily burn if not monitored. For those with neuropathy, do heat checks frequently to feel for hot spots.
  • 🎆Fireworks Safe Practices: If you are susceptible to chronic wounds, camp hosts advises you to avoid lighting fireworks, their sparks and explosion can be unpredictable, causing a serious burn. 

At Camp Woundless, there is no camp host tip that is better than the other, because we understand that camping and the great outdoors means something different to everyone. Even those that are at risk of a chronic wound or already are caring for one, summer outdoor activities are still for them. Whatever is on the summer camp agenda, share or follow the summer camp host tips to be woundless all summer long in the great outdoors. 

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