World Wide Pressure Injury Prevention Day


11.17.2021

Palomar Health joins organizations across the globe in observing World Wide Pressure Injury Prevention Day on Thursday, November 18, 2021. This day’s objective is to increase public awareness about pressure injuries, also known as bedsores, pressure sores, pressure areas, or pressure ulcers/injuries.

What is a Pressure Injury?

According to the National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel (NPIAP), when you stay in one position for too long, your skin can get damaged. The damage can range from a blister to a deep open wound, which can be difficult to treat and take months to recover.

The first sign of a pressure injury is often a discolored area that does not turn white when pressed. People with pale skin tend to get red patches, and people with dark skin tend to get purple or blue patches. You could also experience skin swelling, pain or tenderness; skin that feels cooler or warmer to the touch than other areas; and skin loss exposing deeper layers of skin.

Anyone can get pressure injuries, but they are most common for people who:
 
  • Sit or lie for long periods of time.
  • Have damp skin from sweating or incontinence.
  • Have loss of feeling or poor blood flow.
  • Do not eat a balanced diet or stay hydrated.
  • Regularly use medical equipment that touches the skin.
 
Pressure Injury Prevention Strategies

Taking the following initiatives can help prevent pressure injures:

If bedbound:
 
  • Change position every two or three hours, even a small shift in position can help.
  • Use pillows to stop your knees and ankles touching each other, particularly when lying on your side.
  • Try to avoid creases in your bed linen.
  • If sitting up in bed, be aware that sliding down can cause injury to your bottom and heels.
  • Ask for help if you need it.
 
If seated:
 
  • Relieve pressure by leaning forward or leaning side to side for a few minutes every half hour.
  • If you can stand, stand for a few minutes.
  • If you can walk, go for a short walk.
 
You also make basic lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of fluids/nutrition, keeping your skin clean and dry, and checking for discoloration and impaired skin, including under and around medical equipment.

For more information about pressure injuries, visit the Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Centers at Palomar Health.


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