Pressure sores result from lying or sitting in one position for too long a time. The skin and tissues need enough blood supply for oxygen and nutrients. Prolonged pressure cuts off the blood supply to tissues that are compressed between a bony area and a mattress, chair, or other object. Without oxygen and nutrients, the tissue starts to become damaged and die.
Several factors contribute to the development of pressure sores including:
Pressure—Pressure sores can result from the inability to change position or to feel discomfort caused by pressure. People with normal mobility and sensation change position automatically, without thinking.
Friction—Even friction from pulling someone across bed sheets can damage small blood vessels that supply the skin tissue.
Moisture—This can come from sweating due to fever or leakage of urine or stool.
—Extra weight increases pressure on the skin over the bones and joints.
Pressure ulcer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated January 9, 2015. Accessed January 12, 2015.
Pressure ulcer category/staging illustrations. National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed January 12, 2015.
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11/25/2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance. ...(Click grey area to select URL) Moore ZE, Webster J. Dressings and topical agents for preventing pressure ulcers. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Aug 18;8.
8/11/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance. ...(Click grey area to select URL) Chen C, Hou WH, et al. Phototherapy for treating pressure ulcers. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;7:CD009224.