Karen Darke is a British Paralympian (silver medallist, London 2012, gold medal Rio 2016).
Paralysed from the waist down, her gruelling hand-bike training schedule coupled with hours spent in her domestic wheelchair, mean that the risk of pressure ulcers (or bedsores) is a very real one for Karen. To put the scale of the issue into perspective, treating pressure ulcer damage costs the NHS more than £3.8 million a day, which equates to £2 billion annually, with 1700- 2000 patients per month developing pressure ulcers and the NHS paying out £14.5 million in litigation.
Karen has spoken to BBI Europe Ltd about her experience of pressure ulcers and what she does now to avoid them. She says:
“The times I’ve been worried about developing a pressure ulcer is awful as your life literally has to stop. You have to cancel everything, cancel all commitments. It literally means shutting your life down and calling friends to help you with daily things. It means putting my life on hold and that’s emotionally quite distressing.”
BBI (Europe) Ltd is a company that is campaigning hard to challenge the growing pressure ulcer problem in the UK, to help sufferers prevent getting pressure ulcers with their innovative device – the SEM Scanner. Prevention is key with pressure ulcers – where a timely intervention can reverse the damage and prevent redness at the skin level. With the SEM Scanner it is possible to alert a healthcare practitioner to increased risk of pressure ulcers up to five days before the usual visual skin assessments health care practitioners usually undertake.