Pressure Sores & Ulcers Care

Pressure ulcers (also known as bedsores) may be caused by pressure being applied on the same area for a long time. This reduces blood flow to the area and can cause damage to the skin and tissue. Pressure ulcers are commonly seen at bony areas, such as the buttocks or heels. People with diabetes are at a higher risk of having ulcers as they may have poorer blood flow and their wounds tend to take a longer time to heal. 

An inflamed pressure ulcer would appear as a wound that is red, swollen, warm and painful.  In very bad cases, a wound may lead to an infection. To prevent infection of the wound, it is important to clean it with an antiseptic and to use the right dressing.  

You should consider the following when you choose a wound dressing: 

- Is the wound big or small? 
- Is the wound dry or wet (is there any discharge?) 
- Is there a risk for infection? 

Click here to read more on dressing needs.  

How can pressure ulcers be prevented? 

Reduce pressure while in a wheelchair 

  • Redistribute your weight by shifting every 15mins while sitting in the wheelchair 
  • Try to change your position every hour  

 Reduce pressure while lying on a bed 

  • Change positions often, at least every two hours 
  • Use special cushions, foam mattress pads, air-filled mattresses or water-filled mattresses. This can help reduce pressure and protect your skin from damage 
  • If possible, raise the head slightly by no more than 30 degrees to reduce friction 
  • Protect bony areas by ensuring proper positioning and use cushions for support 

Regular skin care 

  • Clean the skin with mild soap and warm water,  then gently pat dry 
  • Use talcum powder to protect skin that is often moist or wet 
  • Check your skin every day to look for damaged skin  
  • If using diapers, change the diapers regularly. 
  • Protective creams may be applied on the healthy skin of people using diapers, urinary catheters or rectal tubes. 
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