Unit 229 Workbook Pressure Sores

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Unit 4222-229 Undertake agreed pressure area care

Unit 4222-229 Undertake agreed pressure area care
Outcome 1 Understand the anatomy and physiology of the skin in relation to pressure area care

The learner can:
1. describe the anatomy and physiology of the skin in relation to skin breakdown and the development of pressure sores

Skin is the largest organ of the body, covering and protecting the entire surface of the body. The total surface area of skin is around 3000 sq inches or roughly around 19,355 sq cm depending on age, height, and body size. The skin, along with its derivatives, nails, hair, sweat glands, and sebaceous glands forms the integumentary system. Besides providing protection to the body the skin has a host of other functions to be performed like regulating body temperature, immune protection, sensations of touch, heat, cold, and pain through the sensory nerve endings, communicating with external openings of numerous other body systems like digestive system, urogenital system, and respiratory system via mucous membranes.The skin is primarily composed of three layers. The skin, which appears to be so thin, is still itself divided into epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous layer or hypodermis. Each layer has it own function and own importance in maintaining the integrity of skin and thereby the whole body structure.
Pressure sores or decubitus ulcers are the result of a constant deficiency of blood to the tissues over a bony area such as a heel which may have been in contact with a bed or a splint over an extended period of time. The surface of the skin can ulcerate which may become infected. Eventually subcutaneous and deeper tisssues are damaged. Besides the heel, other areas commonly involved are the skin over the buttocks, sacrum, ankles hips and other bony sites of the body.

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2. identify pressure sites of the body

Common pressure points on the body include the tail bone (sacrum), hip bone areas, and the ankle and heel.

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