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Tissue viability

Pressure Ulcer Prevention

What is a Pressure Ulcer?

They are sometimes known as "bedsores" or "pressure sores".


How do they develop?

Pressure ulcers can develop when a large amount of pressure is applied to an area of skin over a short period of time. They can also occur when less pressure is applied over a longer period of time.

Who do they affect?

Pressure ulcers tend to affect people with health conditions that make it difficult to move, especially those confined to lying in a bed or sitting for prolonged periods of time.

How to avoid?

Does this equipment look familiar? Has your relative been given this to reduce the risk of pressure damage?  

Maintenance tips
• Avoid direct contact with heat or sharp objects
• Ensure mattress or cushion are fully inflated at all times, these should be checked daily
• For further information and instructions on use

Investigation of a pressure ulcer incident

A patient was under the care of the district nurses and was identified as being at a high risk of developing a pressure ulcer. This patient lived at home with her husband and was supported by carers and she had been provided with high grade pressure relieving equipment which prevented pressure sore development at home.

The patient went into respite care in a residential care home and whilst there the patient developed a grade 3 pressure ulcer.

Following investigation it was identified that the lady did not take her pressure relieving equipment with her to the care home.

Event learning

Develop robust communication systems between healthcare staff, patient, relatives, care homes and social care to ensure respite plans are shared with all people involved in the patients care

Raise patient and family awareness to ensure they alert community staff if patient going to respite to enable the provision of appropriate equipment to be provided for respite care


Suffolk Community Healthcare Care co-ordination centre

Tel.: 03001232424

Useful links

NICE Pathway - Pressure ulcers

Stop the pressure
Helping to prevent pressure ulcers

Healthcare Improvement Scotland: Tissue viability

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