Patients with increased muscle tone and/or spasticity burn a lot of calories that must be replaced. The weights of these patients should be closely monitored, and calorie intake adjusted as needed.
These patients typically breathe through their mouths, so they are losing fluid from their lungs. They tend to have a decreased thirst mechanism, may not remember to drink, and because of a lack of dexterity, range of motion, and any increased muscle tone, it may be challenging to get water to their mouths. Fluid intake can be fairly easily monitored by knowing how much water is in a large container at bedside from which their glass is refilled, then measuring how much is left in that pitcher at the end of the day. Then add that amount to what they drink at mealtimes. Offer fluids whenever staff is in their room for other duties, and make fluids a part of any activity as is possible. Monitor these patients’ mucous membranes for dryness, lung sounds, and check skin for tenting.
These two considerations are very important when working with Contracture Management. Patients need good skin integrity which requires adequate nutrition and hydration. Consider that it will be more efficient to increase the length of muscles that are well hydrated and more pliable than any that might be dry. Good Contracture Management is a PROCESS. Planning, preparation, patience, and the best and most appropriate splints and braces, and you will be well on your way to success. Thank you for using our Restorative Medical’s Flex Technology to help you and your patients be truly successful.
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