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PRESSURE CARE

Summary

  • Anyone confined to a bed or chair for a long time is at risk of developing a pressure sore.
  • Pressure sores can be difficult to treat.
  • Prevention includes regular changes of position, good hygiene and skin care, and a healthy diet.

Pressure sores (more recently called pressure injuries) are areas of damage to the skin and underlying tissue caused by constant pressure or friction. This type of skin damage can develop quickly in anyone with reduced mobility, such as older people or those confined to a bed or chair.

Pressure injuries can be difficult to treat and can lead to serious complications. Prevention includes regular position changes, good hygiene and skin care, and a healthy diet.

Other names for this type of damage include bed sores, pressure ulcers and decubitus ('lying down') ulcers. 

The skin over bony areas such as the heels, elbows, the back of the head and the tailbone (coccyx) is particularly at risk. Lack of adequate blood flow can cause the affected tissue to die if left untreated. 

 

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