A pressure sore, or decubitus ulcer is caused mainly by the restriction of blood flow and/or lymphatic drainage as a result of excessive tissue deformation caused by pressure and shear forces (friction).
Factors that contribute to pressure sores include:
1. Pressure - heavy pressure blocks or occludes blood vessels. The greater the pressure the less time it takes to occlude. The smaller the area the greater the pressure, hence bony areas are more prone to pressure sores.
2. Shear forces (friction) - skin being pulled sideways over muscle or bone when moving can stretch and block the blood vessels, restricts blood flow to skin. Excessive shearing can affect deeper tissues. Necrosis (tissue death) can occur from inside and move out. Abrasion of friction causes rubbing away of the surface skin faster than it can be replaced.
3. Temperature and moisture of skin - excessive heat and moisture can contribute to the development of pressure sores. These factors can increase the vulnerability of tissues to damage from pressure and shear forces.
The areas more subject to pressure sores are:
• lschial tuberosities.
• Rim of the ear.
• Shoulder Blade.
• Inner Knee.
• Outer Ankle.
People at risk of pressure related problems:
• Frail elderly
• Wheelchair users
• Sciatica - bock pain, decreased sitting tolerance
• Weight loss/chronically ill
• Surgery - decreased sitting tolerance.
The aims of a pressure care product are:
• Increase the area of support and therefore distribute and decrease the pressure.
• Re-distribute weight and pressure away from bony prominences.
• Control temperature and moisture.
Points to consider when selecting a pressure care product
• The age, weight and height of person.
• Nature and degree of disability, physical capabilities and strength.
• Lifestyle - activity and mobility.
• Duration of sitting or lying each day.
• Balance and posture.
• Skin sensation.
• Pressure sore history - condition of skin.
• Continence of person.
• Attitude and motivation to take responsibility for skin care.
At statewide we offer a proven rage of cushions, overlays, mattresses, and garments which are made from air, foam, gel, sheepskin or special materials. All designed to help prevent, and manage pressure sores.