Pressure injuries: Rangi's story
Rangi is a 41-year-old Māori man who has been tetraplegic for 20 years. He is very aware of the dangers of pressure injuries and is proactive in every way to prevent them from occurring. Nevertheless, they sometimes develop and require treatment. When they do, this is what he experiences:
Increased social isolation
‘I miss out on whānau meetings as I have to lay prone for long periods of time. This isolates me from what is going on in my family.’
Loss of upper body strength
‘Lying prone in bed reduces the strength in my upper arms as I am not using them as much as I would do when I am in my wheelchair. So every time I have to make sure I get back in to shape.’
‘I missed out on a couple of important school meetings of my children.
‘I missed those important moments where, with all the other parents, you are proud of what they have achieved.’
Pressure injuries also affect Rangi’s wife and the rest of the family.
Not having her husband at the school ceremony made her feel as though she was being seen as a single parent.
Lack of understanding
‘The public is not aware of how dangerous and debilitating pressure injuries are. Information is crucial so that when I ask for a comfy seat, people do not question that request.
‘Also, the DHB needs to understand that my own equipment is crucial to me. During one of my visits they took it away and my own family had to make sure that I was turned regularly.’
NB. Names and images have been changed to protect privacy.