Are you still using a pillow to offload your patient’s foot ulcer? Offloading is a major key component to healing diabetic foot ulcers & pressure injuries, and the oldest trick in the book might not be the best option for patients. As we recognize Wound Healing Awareness Month (WHAM) this June, let’s remember that WHAM was created to celebrate and raise awareness for wound healing, and to recognize the challenges experienced by individuals whose lives are affected daily by chronic wounds.
Before I begin the eight-point review process of a wound care product for the Wound Care Advantage Product Formulary, the main question I am looking to answer is; Does this product solve a problem for healing chronic wounds? Sometimes the solution is very simple. An innovative solution by NelDerm caught my eye at the spring conference for The Symposium on Advanced Wound Care (SAWC). HeelPOD is a multi-layered memory foam pressure offloading device for lower extremities. Here are my top 5 reasons a patient should use this product for their heel offloading needs:
5. A clinician can perform skin checks or dressing changes without removing the offloading device. This creates a more efficient use of time for the clinician and helps promote an easier process to check the patient’s skin.
4. HeelPOD is designed using one velcro strap around the ankle making it an easy application for any patient to do themselves, creating compliance with wearing it.
3. Keeping costs low and affordable helps for patients to obtain necessary DME products. HeelPOD is priced right in line with other offloading devices on the market today. Spending a small amount for prevention saves the patient’s time, money & health in the long run.
2. The outside material is water resistant ensuring easy cleaning and durability. This product can be used for a long time before needing to be replaced.
And for the number 1 reason I am most excited about HeelPOD:
1. The heel floats off any surface creating a true “off loading” environment. HeelPOD is a unique design where there is zero pressure against the heel solving the problem of pressure, friction and shear.
So, when a pillow to offload your patient’s heel appears to be the simple solution, rest that pillow under their head instead. Doing things the way we’ve always done it is not always the best solution to healing chronic wounds. In the spirit of Wound Healing Awareness month, be an advocate for your patient by not only recognizing the challenges experienced by your patients to heal their wounds, but go above and beyond to help solve them.