Pressure Sores

Good Essays
Unit 64
1.1 Pressure sores are the result of a constant deficiency of blood to the tissues over bony areas such as a heel. It may have been in contact with a bed over a long period of time. The surface of the skin ulcerates which can, in turn, become infected. Eventually deeper tissues are damaged. It’s common in heels, buttocks, sacrum, ankles, hips and spine.

1.2 Pressure points on the body are: sacrum, hip bone, ankles, heels, elbows, spine, ribs, back and head and ears.

1.3 The risk factors of skin breakdown and pressure sores are:

• Pressure
• Impaired mobility
• Sensory impairment
• Reduced level of consciousness
• Incontinence
• Poor nutrition and hydration
• Elderly
• Previous pressure damage
• Acute, chronic and terminal illness

1.4 Incorrect handling and moving techniques can damage the skin such as badly adjusted handling aids (wrong size hoist sling). If you use a sheet rather than an actual slide sheet to move a resident across the bed then this is resulting in friction on their pressure points. Or if a resident is not repositioned at all when they are not moving themselves within the bed on a regular basis i.e.: shuffling.

1.5 Interventions that can reduce the risk of skin breakdown are:

• Regularly repositioning dependant on need whether that be 1 hourly or 4 hourly.
• Using airwave mattresses as it reduces pressure automatically as and when required.
• Special dressing can be applied to speed up healing.
• Dietary supplement as a lack of vitamins and minerals can increase the risk of pressure sores.

1.6 Changes in a persons skin condition that should be reported is any discolouration of skin (none blanching/blanching), a spongy feeling or touch to touch skin. Any non blanching skin needs to be reported immediately and monitored.

2.1 Legislation and national guidelines affecting pressure area care:
• Safeguarding
• Health and Safety Act
• COSHH
• Manual Handling Regulations
• NICE guidelines
• RCN guidelines

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