Home > GOLDEN YEARS > Common Disease > Pressure Sores

Pressure Sores

Introduction

Pressure sores are areas of injured skin and /or underlying tissue. They are usually caused by sitting or lying in one position for too long. This prolonged immobility and pressure can reduce the blood supply to the skin and tissue resulting in damage and sore . Risk factors:

  • Reduced mobility eg due to stroke, parkinson’s disease.
  • Reduced skin sensation example in diabetes.
  • Reduced blood supply in the legs.
  • Malnutrition and dehydration.

Symptoms

  • Severity of sores can range from skin redness to full thickness skin loss and bone damage.
  • Commonly affected areas include buttocks ( hips and lower back ), legs ( knees, heels, toes ) and shoulder blades.

Complications

Physical

  • Infections
  • Pain

Psychological

  • Depression and anxiety

Social

  • Isolation
  • Stress to the carers
  • Financial burden

Treatment

  • Treat underlying infection
  • Pressure relieving measures such as frequent turning and pressure relieving devices eg. mattress/ cushion
  • Ensure adequate pain control
  • Ensure adequate nutritional status ( protein, Vitamin C and Zinc)
  • Wound care with appropriate cleaning and dressing

Prevention

Those who are at risk of or developing pressure sores:

  • Avoid prolonged pressure on any one ( vulnerable ) part of the body.
  • Pressure relieving measures such as frequent turning and pressure relieving devices should be employed.
  • Skin needs to be inspected on regular basis and kept clean and dry.
  • Ensure adequate hydration and nutrition.

Rehabilitation

Multidisciplinary team members eg nurse, physiotherapist and occupational therapist may advice on appropriate handling and lifting techniques, seating positions and aids.

Last Review : 26 April 2012
Writer : Dr. Joseph Ngeh
: Dr. Mohd Daud Che Yusof
: Dr. R. Sukumar a/l Rajaretnam
Reviewed : Dr. George Taye