On May 23, 2014, Saravanan of Guduvanchery in Chennai, who had a spinal cord injury a bit more than a year ago, passed away due to acute infections stemming from pressure ulcers in four places, though which you could see his bones and attendant complications. 

Our peer friend, Suresh of Guduvancherry, has done his very best over the past 14 months since injury to try and get him to do proper rehab. Family paid no heed to him till the end.

Tossed around in Chennai hospitals, advised water beds, air beds, a botched up SPC at SRM Hospital that meant he could not lie prone, and also led to acute contractures of his legs, which meant no position was actually possible.

Family support dwindled except for a hearing impaired uncle who stood by his side till the very end.

When Suresh, Praveen and I visited him about two months ago, it was a really sorry state that we found him in sleeping on an iron cot without even a bed sheet on it. 

Two months of persuading led to a visit to CMC PMR two days ago but due to reluctance in family support, it was not possible to admit him. The medical view was also that end was close at hand.

Let us all strive to ensure that such a case does not get repeated. We may not be able to yet reach all the newly injured in time, but let us try. If you come across any newly injured person, please do follow up on your  own and try to guide; guidance on skin care is what is first needed. Bedsores kill.

May Saravanan’s soul Rest in Peace.

The message for all of us is: follow skin care practices (push-ups every 10 minutes prone lying, position change every two hours and practice of skin check every day with application of coconut oil, especially in buttock areas in the morning).

If a bedsore has not healed in over a month, go to an informed doctor.

  • S Ramakrishnan, President, Amar Seva Sangam And His Wife Celebrated ` Sashtiapthapoorthi (60th birthday of S Ramakrishnan) in early May. Ramakrishan is in his 40th year as a complete high cerical-level spinal cord injured person and an inspiration to one and all. He is a Patron of The Spinal Foundation
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