Confinement to bed or a chair, being unable to move, loss of bowel or bladder control, poor nutrition, and lowered mental awareness are risk factors that increase your chance of getting pressure ulcers. Your risk results from the number and seriousness of the risk factors that apply to you.
- 1. Bed or chair confinement.
- If you must stay in bed, a chair, or a wheelchair, the risk of getting a pressure ulcer can be high.
- 2. Inability to move.
- If you cannot change positions without help, you are at great risk. Persons who are in a coma or who are paralyzed or who have a hip fracture are at special risk. Risks of getting pressure ulcers are lower when persons can move by themselves.
- 3. Loss of bowel or bladder control.
- If you cannot keep your skin free of urine, stool, or perspiration, you have a higher risk. These sources of moisture may irritate the skin.
- 4. Poor nutrition.
- If you cannot eat a balanced diet, your skin may not be properly nourished. Pressure ulcers are more likely to form when skin is not healthy.
- 5. Lowered mental awareness.
- When mental awareness is lowered, a person cannot act to prevent pressure ulcers. Mental awareness can be affected by health problems, medications, or anesthesia.
Fortunately, you can lower your risk. Following the steps presented here can help you and your health care provider to reduce your risk of pressure ulcers.
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