Task: Care of a Patient in Skin Traction


  • Vital signs tray 
  • Rope 
  • Pulley 
  • Traction kits 
  • Prescribed weight 

  Component Task

1. Explain procedure to patient and ensure patient understands activity restriction 
2. Check vital signs and records, assesses patients neuromuscular status of affected extremity ( peripheral pulse, colour, amount of movement, oedema, numbness temperature and sensation)
3. Assess patient regularly for signs of thrombi and emboli i.e. pulse, blood pressure, respiration, breath sounds for evidence of emboli inspect extremity involved for redness, swelling and pain and patients mental status
4. Assess pressure areas for signs of irritation on breakdown of the continuity of the 
skin especially bonny prominences ( heels, ankles ,sacrum ,elbow, chin and shoulders) 
5. Assess skin for allergies or signs of infection or injuries
6. Inspect traction apparatus regularly for level of elevation of the foot end knee flexion on bed 20 -30 degrees
7. Ensure free play of ropes on the pulley 
8. Ensure weights are hanging freely and not resting on the bed or the floor when bed is in the lowest position 
9. Ensure ropes are straight without knots kinks between points of attachment and in the same plane as the ling axis of the bone
10. Ensures ropes are securely attached with slip knot and the short ends of the ropes are attached with a tape.
11. Ensure bed clothes and other objects do not impinge on the traction and spreader bar wide enough to prevent the traction tape from rubbing on the bony prominence.
12. Ensure patient is in the supine position and maintain body alignment when turning him 
13. Ensure trapezes is padded to assist patient in lifting his body for back care and provide slipper bedpan to minimise movement on bed
14. Provide protective devices and measures to safeguard the skin for example watr bags to the heels sacrum, shoulders and other pressure areas.
15. Treat pressure areas four hourly
16. Changes adhesive skin traction when ordered provides skin care and re-wraps into position.
17. Encourage patient to do deep breathing, coughing and range of motion and flexion and extension exercise 
18. Remove gloves, washes hands, dries and document findings

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