Pressure injury is a localized area of tissue loss that occurs when soft tissue is crushed between a bony prominence due to pressure, shearing forces, friction, or a combination of these factors. This is why it is important to know more about pressure injury prevention and management.
Pressure injury is a common occurrence among those who are bedridden or immobilized for long periods of time.
Pressure injuries can be painful and debilitating, and may require hospitalization with wound care and physical therapy to recover fully.
Many people think that they cannot contract pressure injuries because they do not have problems with their joints, but this is an erroneous assumption. Muscle spasms from prolonged immobility still put undue pressure on the skin beneath it, which can cause tissue breakdown that will lead to a pressure injury if left untreated.
Common Causes of Pressure Injury
Pressure injuries are wounds that are inflicted by prolonged pressure on the skin often found in the elderly. They are often synonymous with “sores” or “bedsores.” These injuries are also called decubitus ulcers, because they result from the constant contact of the bony prominence of an area of the body with a surface. The types of pressure injury include long-bone pressure injury, short-bone pressure injury, and weight-bearing leg ulcer.
They can also be caused by offloading too quickly after being confined to bed for an extended period due to illness or surgery. Pressure injuries occur more commonly among people who are confined to bed for an extended period without any movement.
Who is at risk of developing a pressure injury?
A pressure injury is more likely to occur if you are bedridden, asleep, unable to feel pain, or unable to move. If you aren’t turned, positioned correctly, or given proper nutrition and skin care, your risk increases. If you have diabetes or circulatory difficulties, are underweight or overweight, don’t have control of your bowels or bladder, or are malnourished, you’re at a higher risk.
Factors linked to a higher risk of pressure injury
Factors that are intrinsic
These are elements that affect the lymphatic system, supporting structures, and vascular bed of the skin, lowering its tolerance. Conditions and chronic disorders that impair oxygen supply, sensibility, tissue perfusion, and lymphatic function, among others, have been recognized as raising pressure injury risk. These include, but are not limited to: smoking, anaemia, low blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, etc.
Factors that are extrinsic
These are variables that influence the skin’s ability to withstand pressure which includes: shear, moisture, and friction.
Increased pressure exposure
Sensory perception, activity, the patient’s capacity to modify their body posture, and restricted mobility are all risk factors that increase skin exposure to pressure injuries. The following are examples of specific situations that fall within these categories: obesity, cognitive impairment, medication use, etc.
Tissue tolerance decreases
This refers to the ability of the supporting structures and the skin to withstand pressure. When transferring pressure loads, the skin’s surface works as a cushion to protect the skeleton. Tissue tolerance is influenced by both inherent and external variables.
Quick Remedy for Pressure Injury
The earlier you notice a potential problem developing from these circumstances, the easier it will be to remedy them before they worsen into something more serious. A simple remedy preventing pressure injury is to use a special foam cushion that helps distribute your weight evenly across the buttocks and back so you don’t put too much pressure on one spot. You can find these cushions at any medical supply store, but you should ask your doctor first before using one because they may not work if you have an underlying condition like diabetes or heart disease.
Pressure Injury Prevention
Patients and families Should be Aware
Device management, repositioning, and skin inspection are some of the suggested preventative actions that should be discussed with carers/parents or children of suitable age.
Caregivers and parents should be taught about the danger of getting pressure injuries while in the hospital, and then given material to help them understand and participate to the creation of effective and appropriate pressure injury prevention initiatives.
Assessment of Skin Integrity
An evaluation instrument or scale must be utilized to help health care practitioners in identifying a patient at risk of pressure injury. This is a file that is used to calculate a score based on a set of criteria that are thought to be pressure injury risk factors. Certified risk assessment techniques for children and adults are effective in identifying those who are at risk and raising awareness of potential pressure injuries, but they cannot account for every scenario. As a result, clinicians must use their experience, clinical judgment, and knowledge in concert with the screening instrument to prevent tissue damage and protect the skin.
Pressure Injury Management
Device-related prevention and management strategies
As part of a patient’s therapy, a variety of various equipment or medical devices may be required. It’s important to remember that any foreign object that comes into close touch with a patient’s integumentary system can produce pressure injury. As a result, healthcare staff must be cautious in their inspection and monitoring of patients’ skin to avoid pressure injuries caused by devices.
To learn more about devices for pressure injuries prevention and management, please click here.