WHAT IS A PRESSURE ULCER?

A pressure ulcer is a localized injury to the skin and/or underlying tissue, usually over a bony prominence caused by pressure or pressure in combination with shear. They cause pain, discomfort and reduced quality of life to patients and represent a monumental cost to the health and social care system.1

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Pressure ulcers have a negative impact on quality of life. It is known that individuals with pressure ulcers frequently experience pain combined with fear, isolation and anxiety.

 

 

 

Furthermore, Mortality rates are as high as 60% in the elderly with a pressure ulcer within one year of dischargefrom hospital.

How Big is the Problem?

Pressure ulcers remain an all too common problem throughout healthcare institutions. The magnitude of the problem is evident in that 18-22% of all patients across acute, long term care and home care environments are said to experience a pressure ulcer. Given the fact that these injuries may be avoidable, it is clear that attention to pressure ulcer prevention remains vital and often overlooked.

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Source: Injury Prevention Program, Seating Matters.

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