Pressure Area Management

Pressure areas or “bed sores” are the product of one thing – not moving. That may sound overly simplistic, but the reality is that if any area of the body is subjected to constant pressure, enough to stop the blood flowing, a pressure sore will develop. Prevention is easy in concept, but sometimes difficult in practice. For any patient that is bed or chair bound, pressure management is vital and most people are aware of this. However occasionally situations arise, such as acute illness, that conflict with the usual pressure care regime and this is when problems arise.

Immediate surgical management is not always the answer, but as soon as the issue is identified, a review by a team of specialists in a coordinated manner is paramount. The primary care practitioner, in conjunction with a plastic surgeon, a wound care nurse, a physiotherapist and an occupational therapist will formulate a management plan based around the simple premise that removing the pressure will remove the problem. Once this has been achieved, helping the wound heal through optimizing physiology and using appropriate dressings, followed in some cases by surgical intervention, is a good start. However, attention to detail and addressing what led to the issue in the first place is of primary importance.