Pressure ulcers is an injury that involves breakdown of the skin and underlying tissue. It usually develops if an area of skin is placed under pressure.
The ulcers can vary in severity from patches of discolored skin to open wounds that expose the underlying muscle or bone.
How does it develop?
Pressure ulcers are likely to form if significant pressure is applied to an area over a short span of time. The ulcers also develop if less pressure is applied over an extended time.
The added pressure disrupts with the blood flow in the skin. With inadequate blood supply, the affected skin is deprived of oxygen and nutrients where it starts to deteriorate, resulting to the formation of an ulcer.
The pressure ulcers are likely to occur among individuals with current health conditions that limits movement especially those who are confined to a bed or being seated for extended periods of time. Conditions that disrupt the blood flow via the body such as type 2 diabetes puts an individual at risk to pressure ulcers.
Management of pressure ulcers
The treatment for pressure ulcers involves the use of dressings, gels and creams designed to hasten the healing and alleviate the pressure.
Surgery is oftentimes recommended for serious cases of pressure ulcers. In some cases, the pressure ulcers are an inconvenience that necessitates minor care but it can become serious and result to dangerous complications such as gangrene or blood poisoning.
Always bear in mind that pressure ulcers can be upsetting and challenging to treat. A variety of techniques are used to prevent them from developing in the first place such as:
- Changing the position of the individual regularly
- Using equipment to protect susceptible body parts such as cushions and specially designed mattresses
It is sad to note though that even if the highest standards of care are provided, it is not always possible to prevent the formation of pressure ulcers among susceptible individuals.
Disclaimer / More Information
The information posted on this page on pressure ulcers is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to care for pressure ulcers, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.