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Pressure Ulcers-Let’s Define Them!

pressure ulcers
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What Is A Pressure Ulcer?

Pressure ulcer have many different names. You may have heard these terms: pressure injury, bedsore, decubitus ulcer, pressure sore, pressure wound, decubiti. These are all different words for the same thing- a pressure ulcer.

Whatever word you use, a pressure ulcer is damage to the skin or soft tissue over a bony prominence. A bony prominence is any area on your body where the tissue is thinly spread over a bone. Some examples include your elbows, your heels, the back of your head, your spine, and your sitting bones.

Complications Related To Pressure Ulcer

The skin does not have to be broken or have an open wound for you to have a pressure ulcer. As our largest organ, our skin serves as a barrier to the environment, and it is susceptible to damage. However, it has the remarkable ability to self-repair.

Despite that, a pressure ulcer can still be painful. Whether open or closed, it is a wound. It is important for individuals with spinal cord injury to be aware of all the secondary complications. If you think that pressure injuries are not a problem for you because of your lack of sensation, you need to be aware that pain can be a trigger for a high blood pressure condition called Autonomic Dysreflexia. You may not be actively aware your body is in pain, but your body still knows!

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How Can I Prevent Pressure Ulcers?

When your health has been compromised, keeping your skin healthy becomes even more important. One way you can do this is to avoid spending extended amounts of time in postural orientations that can create pressure ulcers. Some of these positions include sitting, semi-recumbent, supine (lying on your back) and lateral (side lying) position.

Talk to your doctor about other potential places that you, as an individual, could develop a pressure ulcer, and develop a plan to combat these injuries in your day-to-day life.


This post is based on information found in the article, What is a pressure injury, by Roll Rev.
Author: Annie Beth Donahue is a professional writer with a health and disability focus. You can find her at