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Pressure ulcers

A pressure injury, often known as a pressure ulcer, pressure sore or bed sore, is an injury to the skin and underlying tissue caused when too much pressure is placed on the affected area.

Man sitting i a wheel chair with a dog

This often happens to people who use a wheelchair or are confined to bed, even for a short period of time (for example, after surgery or an injury).

The constant pressure against the skin reduces the blood supply to that area and the affected tissue is broken down. Friction (rubbing), over-wetting of the skin often due to incontinence, and shear (sliding down in a bed for example) also contribute to a pressure injury.

Consulting a healthcare provider

If you think you or your loved one has a pressure injury, then you should consult a health care provider right away. If you are unsure about a wound that persists on a ‘pressure point’ or ‘rubbing’ area of the body, then you should also consult a provider. While you are caring for your wound at home per your provider’s instructions and the wound gets worse or persists or if there are signs of infection such as redness, swelling, fever, pain or burning, increased drainage, becomes warm to the touch, then consult a health care provider.

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