Pressure sores (ulcers) affect nearly 700,000 people every year. They affect people in all healthcare environments, and research suggests that between 80-95% can be avoided. That could affect as many as 665,000 people and make their healthcare experience pressure ulcer free. Every healthcare worker can make a difference, every day by thinking about SKIN.
Around 20% of people in nursing and residential homes are affected by pressure ulcers.
Use your eyes and look daily
Does it look different to surrounding areas?
Redness that does not blanch
Feels warmer or colder over bony areas
Boggy feeling or hardened
Breaks in skin
Reddened areas, or on darker skin, areas that are darker than usual, may indicate a breakdown is imminent.
If you are worried or see a change – tell a senior member of staff
Look after skin
Avoid hot baths and frequent showers.
Use mild soap
Dry without rubbing
Moisturise using a simple non perfumed moisturiser
Fluid from incontinence, perspiration and wound fluid can irritate skin and make it more prone to break down. Use a barrier film or cream to keep fluid away from the skin.
Ensure the resident is drinking enough fluid
A pressure ulcer may be caused by pressure, shear friction or a combination of these. One of the best ways to reduce pressure over vulnerable areas can be by moving and changing positions as much as possible.
Change someone’s position as often as you can.
Encourage independent residents to move regularly and reposition immobile residents every 2 hours
If you can’t do it yourself ask for help
ALWAYS tell someone else of your concern if you spot any changes.