Ways to prevent pressure ulcers
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.