Pressure injuries result from lying or sitting in one position for too long a time, with or without with a shear force. 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 dies.
Several factors contribute to the development of pressure injuries including:
Pressure—Pressure injuries 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.
This condition is more common in older adults and people of African American or Hispanic descent. Other factors that may increase the chances of pressure injuries:
Immobility such as being bed- or chair-bound
Poor nutrition, which may be the result of a lack of protein, vitamins A and C, zinc, and iron
6/22/2015 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116231/Pressure-ulcer: Qaseem A, Mir TP, Starkey M, et al. Clinical Guidelines of the American College of Physicians. Risk assessment and prevention of pressure ulcers; a clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. 2015;162(5):359-369.
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.