Ways to pre­vent pres­sure ul­cers

Woman's Weekly (UK) - - Health -

Nurses must carry out pres­sure ul­cer risk as­sess­ments on pa­tients who are ad­mit­ted to a hos­pi­tal or care home. Com­mu­nity nurses can per­form as­sess­ments at home af­ter dis­charge, or if the pa­tient be­comes im­mo­bile, uses a wheel­chair or is con­fined to bed.

Keep skin well nour­ished. This can be achieved by not smok­ing, drink­ing plenty of flu­ids and eat­ing a healthy diet con­tain­ing plenty of vi­ta­mins, min­er­als and pro­tein. (See nhs.uk.)

When sit­ting or ly­ing, change po­si­tion reg­u­larly to take the pres­sure off spe­cific ar­eas – or im­me­di­ately if there is any dis­com­fort. In bed, you may need as­sis­tance or pre­ven­tive equip­ment to be ‘turned’ ev­ery hour or two. Make sure damp or soiled pads, cloth­ing or sheets are changed promptly.

Skin checks should be car­ried out at least daily in vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple, and early changes treated im­me­di­ately, in­clud­ing with bar­rier creams to re­duce rub­bing.

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