The key to treating any chronic wound is to address the underlying problem. A pressure ulcer (PrU) is a localized site of cell death that occurs most commonly in areas of compromised circulation secondary to pressure. These ulcers may be superficial, caused by local skin irritation with subsequent surface maceration, or deep, originating in underlying tissue. Deep ulcers may go undetected until they penetrate the skin.
Pressure ulcers are most likely to develop in patients who experience sustained pressure over bony prominences. Patients who spend most or all of their time in a bed or alternative seating device such as a wheelchair without shifting their body weight properly are at great risk. Risks increase with various cofactors, such as partial or total paralysis and malnutrition. All stages of PrUs require topical wound care, and surgical intervention may be required for Stages III and IV. Topical wound care varies with the management modalities used and the ulcer’s stage. Interventions to reduce pressure over bony prominences, such as the use of support surfaces, are vital to the success of the care plan.1
Read the rest of the article at Advances in Skin & Wound Care.
An excerpt from an article originally published in Advances in Skin & Wound Care, written by Cathy Thomas Hess, BSN, RN, CWOCN, VP and Chief Clinical Officer at Net Health