Wheelchair Posture and Pressure Sores. Zacharkow. Springfield, IL, Charles C. Thomas, 1984, 99 pages.
Written by a physical therapist at the Mayo Clinic, Wheelchair Posture and Pressure Sores is an excellent little book, one that is tremendously valuable for nurses who work with older clients in all types of settings. Although the focus is on persons with spinal cord injuries, the principles, rationales, and suggestions incorporated into this text make it eminently practical for geriatric nurses who work in rehabilitation centers, home health care, acute care, and extended care agencies.
Two factors contribute to the utility of Zacharkow's book. First, it is solidly research-based. But the research never overwhelms the reader because of the author's clear prose and the judicious application of the research findings to the topic at hand.
Second, the careful design and sequence of the chapters support Zacharkow's observation that more pressure sores occur from the sitting position than from the supine position.
Scattered throughout the text are numerous diagrams, illustrating the appropriate lordotic posture and the types of modifications to increase comfort and safety. After reading this text, the nurse has no doubt as to how to evaluate the fit of clients' wheelchairs to meet their needs. Furthermore, the nurse is armed with sound rationales and research that support suggested modifications.