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Health Matters: 21 November is stop pressure ulcers day!

Health Matters: 21 November is stop pressure ulcers day!

Did you know that Christopher Reeve (superman) died due to heart problems associated with an infected pressure ulcer? But what is a pressure ulcer, who can be affected and how can you prevent them?

The people most at risk of developing pressure ulcers are people who may have:Stopsign

  • limited mobility (eg in a wheelchair, recovering from an accident or surgery)
  • a long term health condition which restricts blood flow (eg diabetes)
  • poor nutrition
  • aging skin which is more vulnerable to damage
  • incontinence (urine can damage the skins natural defences)

But they can happen to anyone who is sitting or lying in one position without any movement for too long. The skin and underlying tissue breaks down because the pressure stops the blood flow that helps keep our skin healthy and a pressure ulcer starts to form.

For most people pressure ulcers are an inconvenience that requires nursing care but for others it can be more serious and lead to life-threatening complications such as blood poisoning.

If you or someone you care for may be at risk, here are some of the things you can do to help prevent them:

Change position
regularly to move your weight about.

Check your skin
for any signs of pressure ulcers (eg discoloured skin, changes to look and feel) – don't be embarrassed to ask your nurse / healthcare professional for help.

Keep your skin
clean and dry.

Use specialist equipment
to protect vulnerable parts of the body such a specially
designed mattresses and cushions.

Eat and drink well
– a healthy, balanced diet helps make sure you have the right
nutrients for your skin and helps healing.

Quit smoking
– smoking reduces the levels of oxygen in your blood.

Join us at Asda, Birkenhead on Thursday 21 November

Q and A

Where should I check for pressure ulcers?

We recommend checking your bottom, heels, hips, tailbone/base of spine, ankles, elbows, ears, back of head, knees and toes.

What should I do if I think a pressure ulcer is forming?

Contact your GP or healthcare professional straight away. The earlier you find them, the easier they are to manage.

Last Updated: Wednesday, 02 November 2016 16:13

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