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Pressure Care

Pressure sores (now being referred to as pressure injuries) are areas of skin and deeper tissue that have been damaged from constant pressure or friction due to reduced mobility and is usually associated with the overweight and older population or those who are confined to a bed or chair for long periods. Due to the nature of pressure sores, they can be difficult to treat and in some cases lead to serious complications and other health issues including infection of the blood, bone and join infections, abscess and cancer.

Pressure sores can occur on a number of parts of the body, although most commonly are discovered on the boniest areas including the heels, elbows, back of the head and around the coccyx (tailbone) as a lack of adequate blood flow can result in the affected tissue to die if untreated. Pressure sores are graded by four levels which depict as to what amount of damage has occurred at the skin and range from grade 1 as skin discolouration to grade 4 as death or severe damage to the skin and underlying structures including tendon, joint or bone.

There are a number of prevention methods and treatments for pressure sores for both the individual and their carer. These can include:

  • Regular changing of positions in both bedding and mobility assistance
  • A varied and balanced diet to encourage health, wellness and strength
  • Checking skin daily for signs of pressure sores including redness, swelling or cracking of the skin
  • Maintaining high levels of hygiene both personally and for the home environment
  • Using pressure distributing products including bed mattresses and supports in wheelchairs
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