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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Pressure Sores (Article 2) - Treating & Preventing Pressure Ulcers/Sores

Pressure Sores - Treating & Preventing Pressure Ulcers/Sores

Treating and preventing pressure ulcers
Treatment for pressure ulcers includes the use of dressings, creams and gels designed to speed up the healing process and relieve pressure. Surgery is sometimes recommended for the most serious cases.

For some people, pressure ulcers are an inconvenience that require minor nursing care. For others, they can be serious and lead to life-threatening complications, such as blood poisoning or gangrene. 

Pressure ulcers can be unpleasant, upsetting and challenging to treat. Therefore, a range of techniques is used to prevent them developing in the first place.

These include:
  • Regularly changing a person's position - When you change positions often, there will be less pressure on your skin, reducing your risk of developing pressure ulcers. It is a good idea to reposition your body at least every couple of hours. For example, if you have been lying on your back for a while, turn to your side. If you are unable to switch positions on your own, ask a family member or caregiver to help.

  • Using equipment to protect vulnerable parts of the body such as specially designed mattresses and cushions

  • Keep the skin dry and clean - The cleaner and drier your skin is, the less likely it will develop bed sores. Dip a wash rag in a bucket of warm water and mild soap and clean your skin with it.  You will likely need another person to help you clean the hard-to-reach spots. Then, pat your skin dry with a towel. If you rub too hard, it can lead to skin irritation.

  • Exercise - When you can’t even get out of bed, the idea of exercise seems daunting. However, performing a few range of motion exercises in bed can help reduce the risk of bed sores. For example, you can start with an arm lift. Just lift your arm up as high as you can and hold it there for 10 seconds. Repeat the exercise on the other arm.

Unfortunately, even with the highest standards of care, it's not always possible to prevent pressure ulcers in particularly vulnerable people.


Pressure ulcers, also known as pressure sores, occur when the skin and underlying tissue is damaged 

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