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Pressure ulcers are areas of skin and tissue damage that can happen when parts of the body are under continual pressure. This can be caused by lying in bed or sitting in a chair, without moving for a long period of time. They are also sometimes known as pressure sores or bed sores.
Pressure ulcers can be very painful and sore – they can also cause infections and make you ill. This leaflet explains what ward staff will do to help stop you getting a pressure ulcer while you are in hospital, and what you can do to help yourself.
You might be at risk if you:
The early signs of a pressure ulcer are reddening or change in colour of the skin with pain and discomfort. Pressure ulcers can also develop under the devices used to treat your condition such as oxygen masks, catheters, casts, nasal cannulas etc.
If you experience pain under the devices or have a poorly fitting medical device, please inform your nurse.
Eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of fluids are important to help keep your skin healthy. While you are in our hospital, you will be offered three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). The times of these meals are displayed on the ward noticeboard. We have menus with a lot of variety and your Nurse can help you choose the best options for you if you need help.
You will be offered help to eat and drink if you need it. Hot drinks are available on the ward at any time. If you are hungry in between meals there are a variety of snacks available such as biscuits at coffee time, cheese and biscuits, soup, or toast and jam. Please tell your Nurse if you are hungry or thirsty as we will make sure you receive snacks and drinks that you like. We also have special ‘build up’ drinks and supplements that we may give you if you need them.
Incontinence can be very distressing for patients. We will do as much as we can to ensure you stay comfortable. If your skin becomes wet and stays wet for some time, your skin is at risk of being damaged and getting sore. Your Nurse may use special barrier cream to stop your skin becoming sore. Please use the call bell if you need help from the nursing staff to go to the toilet.
During your hospital stay you may also be referred to other specialists such as:
Do not be afraid to ask for help. If you wish to contact the Tissue Viability Team, speak with your nursing team who will contact them on your behalf.