Preventing pressure ulcers
Understanding the underlying causes of pressure ulcer development is a crucial part of implementing appropriate measures to prevent their occurrence. A pressure ulcer is a damage to the skin or underlying tissue(1) that occurs as a result of cell deformation and/or ischemia(2).
Ischemia usually occurs when an area is subjected to prolonged pressure, resulting in a lack of oxygenated blood supply to the area and subsequent cell death. Cell deformation happens when pressure causes damage to the cell’s skeletal structure and ruptures the cell membrane(2). The conditions for developing pressure ulcers vary among individuals, highlighting the importance of individual assessment and treatment for each patient(1).
An international research review from 2015 indicates that the costs associated with treating pressure ulcers are significantly higher than the costs of prevention. This suggests that implementing additional preventive measures would likely be more cost-effective within the Swedish healthcare system while also reducing patient suffering(3).