√ Pressure injuries do not occur in people who are only confined to bed.
√ Pressure injuries occur when an individual has not been repositioned in the bed or chair (either on their own or by a caregiver).
√ They can also occur in individuals who sit in a chair or wheelchair and do not move.
√ Pressure injuries can lead to deep open areas, infection and in more severe cases, death.
Pressure injuries, also known as “bed sores” are damages to the skin or underlying tissue, usually over a boney part of the body. Pressure injuries occur when a person has not changed their position for some time. The heels and the tailbone are some of the bony areas of the skin. At first the skin may appear as a red or bruised area. Sometimes the area appears as a blister.
Not all red areas are pressure injuries. Typically, if the red area on the skin turns white right after pressure is applied (also known as “blanching”) then the red area is NOT a pressure injury
The heels and the tailbone are some of the bony areas of the skin where pressure injuries occur. Other areas where pressure injuries occur include the back of the head (occiput), ear, shoulder, shoulder blade, elbow, lower back (sacrum), hip, knees and ankles. The area where pressure injuries develop depend on what position the person is sitting in or lying in. The diagrams below show the areas that the person is at high risk of developing a pressure injury depending on what position they are lying or sitting in.
There are several ways to prevent pressure injuries from occurring which are listed below. It is much easier to prevent pressure injuries from happening than to treat them.