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Bed Sores Causes & Risks

Causes

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.

Risk Factors

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
  • Fever

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2021 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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