Pressure ulcers are damage caused by pressure, shear and friction.
What are the common sites for pressure ulceration?
The areas that are particularly prone to pressure sores are those that cover the bony areas such as:
- Pelvis, especially over the tailbone (sacrum)
- Hipbones (ischium)
- Shoulders or shoulder blades (scapula)
- Backs or sides of the knees
- Back of the head (occiput)
Lower locations, such as the heel, account for approximately 25% of all pressure sores.
So why do different points in the body have different prevalence of ulceration?
There are two main factors which contribute to the distribution of pressure ulcers:
- The pressure at different points of the body during common postures.
For example, areas such as the pelvic region are often subjected to prolonged pressure when sitting or lying.
- The difference in the amount of soft tissue between the skin and the underlying firmer tissues such as bones or tendons.
In areas with little fat covering the skin directly covers these pressure points. This increases the pressure on the blood supply in this area when sitting or lying.
For more information on how pressure ulcers develop, click here.
Effective preventive measures reduce the intensity and/or the duration of pressure, shear and friction to reduce the risk of pressure ulcers developing.
This can be achieved by using alternating pressure air replacement and cushions, or by using a high-quality static foam mattress or cushion.
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