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Pressure Ulcers (Sores): A guide for patients

Pressure Ulcers (Sores): A Guide for Patients

What is a pressure ulcer?

Bodymedics Heel Pro ProtectCommonly known as a bedsore or pressure sore.
A pressure ulcer is an area of damaged skin and underlying tissue.
A pressure ulcer can develop in only a few hours and it usually starts with the skin changing colour.
They are most likely to develop on the parts of the body which take your weight and where the bone is close to the surface.

Who is most likely to get a pressure ulcer?

You are most likely to get a pressure ulcer if:

  • You have to stay in bed
  • You spend long periods of time sitting still in a chair
  • You have difficulty moving about, for example because you are in pain
  • You are elderly or weak
  • You have a serious illness
  • You have moist skin, caused by sweat, incontinence or leaking wound
  • Your body has lost sense of feeling somewhere, for example because you are diabetic or have had a stroke
  • You have poor circulation
  • You are not eating a balanced diet or having enough fluids
  • You have had a pressure ulcer in the past

How to prevent a pressure ulcer

Your healthcare team will assess your risk of developing a pressure ulcer. If required a written plan of care will be devised to help prevent you getting a pressure ulcer.

One of the best ways of preventing pressure ulcers is to avoid heavy and constant pressure on vulnerable parts of the body.
Your healthcare team will remind/help you to change our position if necessary.

How can you change your position?

This refers to when you are lying in bed and when you are sitting in a chair because both are equally important. You can change from side to side and on your back in bed. Certain beds can help you to change your position.

When you are sitting in a chair try to take the weight off your bottom by leaning forward and pushing up on the arms of the chair. Or you can roll from cheek to cheek for a short while. Alternatively, you could go for a walk. The frequency of these changes of position can be determined by a nurse following an assessment of your level of risk.

Other factors which are important in the prevention of pressure ulcers

It’s important that you keep your skin clean and dry as moisture can increase the potential of getting a pressure ulcer. If you feel able you could check your own skin for damage by the use of a mirror.

You need to eat a balanced diet and have plenty of fluids. This ensures your skin is well hydrated and getting the nutrients it needs to help it stay healthy. If you have any special dietary needs please discuss these with your healthcare provider who may refer you to a dietician.


Your healthcare provider will assess your risk of developing a pressure ulcer and will use this to decide if you need any specialist equipment such as, an air mattress or cushion.


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