Most pressure ulcers can be prevented. Suggestions include:
- Change position in bed at least every 2 hours or, in a wheelchair, at least hourly. If able to move yourself, shift position every 15 minutes.
- Maintain good body alignment.
- To prevent sliding, do not elevate the head of the bed greater than 30°. Discuss the bed elevation with your doctor in case this is contraindicated because of risk of difficulty breathing, choking, or aspiration.
- Find a sitting or lying position that is 30° toward one side or the other, but not squarely on the hip.
- Place a pillow under calves to keep the heels off the mattress.
- Place a pillow between the knees.
- Do not use donut-ring cushions, which can cut off circulation.
- Use a special bed mattress or wheelchair cushion.
- Wear special pads to protect skin that is resting against braces and other devices.
When moving someone, lift rather than drag.
- Use assistive devices, such as transfer boards and mechanical lifts.
- Try placing a sheepskin under a body part to decrease friction.
- Keep the skin clean and dry.
- Do not massage bony areas.
- If incontinent, use a protective cream on skin that may come in contact with urine or stool. Frequently check the patient, and do not let feces or urine remain for extended periods of time
- Check the skin at least daily for signs of pressure problems.
- Keep sheets clean and free of wrinkles
- Maintain good nutrition.