CASE STUDY 2 – Arthur’s Story: How the TurnAid can be used with a paralysis condition
Arthur is a 72-year-old gentleman who lives with his wife and two children. In 2012, Arthur experienced a fall from a height of 4 foot resulting in a fracture to C2 and C3 of his spinal cord. Unfortunately, this resulted in paralysis from his shoulders down.
After 5 months in hospital, Arthur was discharged home with essential equipment and required full time care and support with all activities of daily living. A care package was set up with one carer attending each day from 8am – 10pm and a second carer visited for 3 hours a day to support Arthur alongside the first carer with personal care and transfers. Arthur’s wife Janice also provides regular assistance with many tasks including manual handling tasks.
Arthur did not require any care at night, advising that he was able to remain on his back throughout the night until the carers arrived to assist him in the morning.
In April 2017, an incident occurred which resulted in Arthur being unable to tolerate lying on his back, as this causes him immense pain and discomfort. As a result, Arthur has to lie on his side. Due to the significant amount of pressure placed on either shoulder at any one time, he is unable to tolerate this for more than an hour and a half maximum. Arthur is unable to shift his weight or turn and reposition himself independently and is therefore fully dependent on carers to assist with all manual handling tasks, such as turning him from one side to the other. Arthur explained that each movement caused severe pain, however if he could be rolled consistently in one movement the pain was reduced.
The frequency and technique required meant that one carer could no longer manage alone, so the care package was consequently increased to two carers 24 hours a day. Although this was an improvement, there were still a lot of inconsistencies when being turned due to the techniques used and the slightly different way in which each carer works. This meant Arthur was still experiencing a great deal of pain when being turned.
Another concern for Arthur and his family was the sudden increase in carers present in their home at all hours of the day and night. This reduced his opportunity to have uninterrupted family time.
An assessment for the TurnAid was requested with the hope it would make the movement more consistent. This would reduce the pain experienced by Arthur and the difficulties experienced by the carers and Arthur’s wife when turning Arthur in bed every hour and a half throughout the day and night. In addition, it was hoped that use of this patient turner would reduce the care package.
The TurnAid was installed. A demonstration was carried out to the carers, Arthur, and his wife Janice on the safe use of TurnAid and how to change the sheets.
The first roll carried out using the TurnAid allowed a smooth turn from one side onto his back before using the system to turn Arthur onto his other side. Arthur immediately reported that using TurnAid allowed him to turn with approximately 70% less pain than he usually experienced. A trial was then carried out of a full turn from one side to the other without stopping in the middle to reduce the need to place pressure on his back for any length of time. This turn went very smoothly, and Arthur reported that the uninterrupted turn made the experience much quicker, less painful and was therefore more bearable than the previous methods used.
During a follow up call soon after provision, Arthur advised that he was benefitting greatly from TurnAid advising that he experiences fewer spasms as he was in less pain (the usual cause of the spasms). Arthur also reported that the TurnAid allowed each movement to be consistent. Previously no two carers worked in the same way as each other, resulting in each movement being different and some more painful than others.
Arthur shared that four weeks on they have been able to reduce the night-time care to one carer and are hopeful that they will be able to reduce the daytime care as well as this will reduce the amount of people coming through the door and improve family life.