Pressure sores result from lying or sitting in one position for too long a time. Prolonged pressure cuts off the blood supply to tissues that are compressed between a bony area and a mattress, chair, or other object. Without oxygen and nutrients, the tissue starts to die.
Several factors contribute to the development of pressure sores including:
- Pressure—Pressure sores can result from the inability to change position or to feel discomfort caused by pressure. People with normal mobility and sensation change position automatically, without thinking.
- Friction—Even friction from pulling someone across bed sheets can damage small blood vessels that supply the skin tissue.
- Poor nutrition
- Moisture—This can come from sweating due to an elevated temperature (fever) or leakage of urine or stool.
- Obesity —Extra weight increases pressure on the skin over the bones and joints.
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.
- Immobility, such as being bed- or chair-bound
- Sensory loss
- Poor nutrition
- Incontinence , or leakage of urine or stool
- Advanced age
- Chronic or complex medical problems, such as:
- Bone fracture
- Swelling or water retention
- Dry skin
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