Patients at Risk
There are many risk factors that can be associated with the development of pressure ulcers. Individuals that are immobile are patients at higher risk of pressure ulcer as they often stay in the same position for a while and cannot change position by themselves. This includes: paralised patients, fracture, coma, condition or disease that makes it difficult to move the body or parts of the body.
Incontinence is also a very important factor and patients who cannot control their bladder or bowels are at greater risk of acquiring pressure ulcers. Due to incontinence, the skin is exposed to moisture for a prolonged period of time and is more vulnerable. Other risk factors may include poor nutrition; health conditions such as diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, schizophrenia; or age – ageing skin being more vulnerable.¹
Areas at Risk
If the circulation is cut off from too much pressure on a particular area of the body over a period of time, a pressure ulcer will occur. Certain parts of the body are at greater risk for pressure and pressure ulcers.
In general, the areas that are most at risk are those where there is a bony prominence and not much “cushion” for protection such as heels, knees, hips, elbows, occiput (back of the head), ischial tuberosities (sitting bones), shoulders, or sacrum.²