Individuals suffering from limited mobility and spinal cord injury are at high risk of developing pressure sores. Without being able to properly move joints and muscles to create blood flow, the constant pressure on bony protrusions (i.e. shoulder blades, tail bone, heels of feet, and back of the knee) can cause pressure ulcers to form.
Approximately 60,000 people die annually from complications due to pressure sores/ulcers. Individuals with pressure ulcers have a 4.5x greater risk of death than those with the same risk factors but without pressure sores.
It is important to reduce the risk of pressure sores from forming to save the skin from infection and irreversible damage. These kinds of injuries are 100% preventable with early detection and administering proper preventative methods.
Steps to Preventing Pressure Sores
Variety in movement is key! Staying in one position for too long or in an uncushioned bed/wheelchair where bones are putting pressure on your skin, reduces oxygen and blood flow, causing the skin to deaden and pressure sores to form. The more you can promote movement and change in position by exercising the limbs of your body, the better. 70 percent of pressure ulcers are seen in adults 65 years of age or older, due to developing limited mobility.
Check Your Skin
Checking your skin daily helps to identify any new pressure sores as they occur, so they can be properly dressed or taken care of by a healthcare professional. Habit Camera’s flexible gooseneck telescoping handle and HD Camera allows for inclusive viewing of these hard to see areas by anyone, regardless of mobility.
Know the Stages of Pressure Sores
Stage One: A reddened area that does not turn white when pressed.
Stage Two: Partial thickness skin loss: a shallow open ulcer with a red/pink wound bed. It may also present as an intact or open/ruptured blister.
Stage Three: Full thickness skin loss in which the fat under the skin may be visible.
Stage Four: Full thickness tissue loss with exposed bone, tendon or muscle. These wounds are at risk for developing osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone.
Unstageable: The wound is completely obscured by dead tissue and/or a black scab. The true depth cannot be determined, but it will either be a Stage 3 or 4.
Deep Tissue Injury: The wound presents as a purple or maroon localized area of discolored intact skin or a blood-filled blister, due to damage of underlying soft tissue from pressure.
Relieving direct pressure on the body is imperative for preventing pressure sores. According to Cancer Research UK, it is important to use pressure relieving mattresses and cushions as often as possible to help support your body. Even making sure your sheets are free of wrinkles is a small, but important, step to preventing direct pressure. Remember to reposition or have someone assist you reposition your body at least every two hours to promote circulation and even out pressure.
Keep Your Skin Dry & Clean
Treating your skin gently and engaging in a proper hygiene routine will help prevent your skin from reddening/creating open wounds. Wash your body with a soft sponge but avoid using talcum powders, strong soaps, and washing every day as it will over-dry the skin. Make sure you properly cleanse after going to the bathroom as urine can cause skin breakdown. Using skin protectants in these areas and on your body every day will help to keep your skin properly moisturized and protected.
It is easier to prevent pressure sores than it is to treat them! Knowing your skin and implementing these preventative methods will help you avoid serious health complications due to pressure sores in the future.
About Habit Camera
Habit Camera is an affordable, ergonomic, and wireless camera built for skin inspection in modern telehealth. High quality, iOS, and Android compatible, Habit Camera is accessible to everyone, regardless of physical conditions, making it easier to make skin inspection a habit.
Learn more about Habit Camera's unique features, back-story, and how you can pre-order today!