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Understanding Pressure Ulcer/Injury

A pressure ulcer/injury is the breakdown of skin and tissue that happens when you are bedridden or stay in one position for a long time.

Preventing pressure ulcer/injury

Here are some examples of thing that you can do to prevent skin breakdown or promote wound healing:

  • Check your skin daily for redness or breakdown

  • Turn or change your position at least every 2 hours (Ask for assistance if needed)

  • If you are chair bound, reposition yourself every 15 minutes (ask for assistance if needed)

  • Ask about special equipment (mattresses or wheelchair cushions) that can help with pressure relief

  • Stay away from doughnut shaped cushions or ones that do not provide support

  • Keep your skin clean and moisturized

  • Maintain a healthy diet and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, see a dietitian if recommended

Watch for signs of pressure ulcers/injuries

Look out for the following:

  • Any redness or skin breakdown

  • Areas that are exposed to pressure from positioning or medical devices (for example, braces or shoes)

  • Any injury or bruise to the skinA red or darkened area that does not go away within 30 minutes of relieving pressure/changing your position

  • Cracks, blisters, or breaks in the skin

  • Open skin that bleeds, oozes, or drains

Help yourself heal   

If you have a pressure ulcer/injury, use these tips to ease healing:

  • Keep pressure off of the ulcer/injury and surrounding area

  • Keep the ulcer/injury clean and protected from urine, stool, or drainage

  • Do not massage the area around the ulcer/injury

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider if you have the following:

  • Fever of 100.4°F or higher, or chills

  • Pus, bloody drainage, or odor from the ulcer/injury

  • Redness or swelling around the ulcer/injury

  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting

  • Exposed bone in the ulcer/injury

Make a follow-up appointment with your healthcare provider as directed.

To learn more

For more information, go to the Pressure Ulcer/Injury Resource mobile app.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 8/1/2018
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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