Pressure Sores: Frequently Asked Questions

A pressure sore is a part of skin that becomes red and damaged over time due to constant pressure on that part of the body.

Pressure – Body weight pressing on the skin or friction from skin on skin rubbing as well as clothing.

Redness of the skin which progresses into an open wound.

Anywhere that bone is close to the skin, like the back, buttocks, heels and elbows.

Usually the elderly or disabled, however anyone with a period of inactivity could develop them.

People that are inactive or disabled are most at risk. This inactivity could be for a myriad of reasons.

If identified early, yes they are. However as time goes on and the damage progresses they can take longer to heal and can even become life threatening.

In some cases, it can take as little as an hour for them to start, however this depends on the amount of pressure and the health of the patients skin.

Regular movement, even if the patient can’t move, a nurse should frequently adjust the patients position.

This depends on the health of the patient and how infected they are. If caught early, the recovery time is much less.

Quite simply, regular movement of all areas of the body:

● Suitable sitting and lying positions
● Offloading weight to vulnerable areas
● Monitoring hydration and nutrition

If you have a pressure sore, you need to change your sitting or laid position regularly, or be repositioned by a nurse regularly.

Nursing homes and hospitals usually have procedures for identifying and preventing pressure sores from occurring. Consistently regular posture adjustment is needed.

Switching sides regularly is a good idea, but there are also cushions available to help ease pressure on joints and areas of the skin.

Undoubtedly. Your skin relies on hydration to be at its best, so drinking plenty of water is essential to the prevention and treatment of pressure sores.

In studies, people with higher intakes of Vitamin C have a lower occurrence of pressure sores in bed-ridden patients than those with lower intakes.

There are four main stages of progression for bed sores:
Grade 1 – Reddened skin which remains for more than 30 minutes after pressure has been relieved.
Grade 2 – Superficial skin damage or blister.
Grade 3 – Full thickness skin loss not extending to bone or muscle.
Grade 4 – Full thickness skin loss with extensive tissue damage through muscle and bone.

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