Pressure Ulcers Are Preventable
Maintaining healthy skin is the key to preventing pressure sores. Skin that is intact, well lubricated with natural oils, and nourished by a good blood supply will not develop pressure ulcers. Skin stays healthy with a good diet, good hygiene, regular skin inspection, and regular pressure relief. Attention should be paid to keeping your skin clean and dry since skin that is moist from urine, sweat, or stool is more likely to break down. Adequate fluids and a well-rounded diet also provide nourishment to the skin. With a good diet containing protein, iron, and vitamins, your skin will remain healthy. By inspecting your skin regularly, you can spot a problem at the very beginning.
In addition to routinely checking your skin, a second important way to prevent pressure sores is to relieve skin pressure by changing position or being positioned so that pressure is taken off a bony area. The purpose of relieving pressure is to let the blood supply get to the skin. If pressure is not relieved, blood will continue to be pressed out of a blood vessel and will not get to the skin to keep it healthy.
Weight shifts are the most essential techniques for preventing pressure on the skin and muscle of the sacrum (tailbone) and each hip. Use the method you and your therapists have found to be the most effective for you. Know your skin tolerance at all times.
A cushion for your wheelchair is essential. Cushions provide pressure relief and weight distribution and thus aid in the prevention of pressure sores. Many types of cushions exist, but there is no "ideal" cushion. Use the cushion recommended by your physical therapist/physiatrist. Weight shifts are essential. The cushion alone will not prevent pressure sores.
Tips to Prevent Pressure Ulcers