Pressure Ulcer Information

Pressure ulcers and decubitus ulcers — are injuries to skin and underlying tissue resulting from prolonged pressure on the skin. Bedsores most often develop on skin that covers bony areas of the body, such as the heels, ankles, hips and tailbone.

People most at risk of bedsores are those with a medical condition that limits their ability to change positions or those who spend most of their time in a bed or chair.

 Bedsores can develop quickly. Most sores heal with treatment, but some never heal completely. You can take steps to help prevent bedsores and aid healing.

Clinicians may have difficulty in determining if a wound is truly a pressure ulcer. It is essential to not only assess the wound, but also perform a complete skin assessment and obtain a history.

To be determined a pressure ulcer, the wound needs to meet the criteria by the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, which is “a localized injury to the skin and/or underlying tissue usually over a bony prominence, as result of pressure, or pressure in combination with shear.” Friction is no longer included in the definition of pressure ulcer.

When a wound is assessed as a pressure ulcer, pressure ulcer staging is initiated. Staging of a pressure ulcer is a method utilized by healthcare providers based on the amount of observable tissue loss, including the depth of the actual tissue loss. The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel has specific criteria for each stage.

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