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Wound Care Overview

Knowing how to identify and prevent pressure wounds, also known as pressure ulcers, is a vital part of every caregiver’s toolkit. Sometimes called Decubitus Ulcers, or more commonly, bed sores, a pressure wound is an injury to the skin and underlying tissue.

There are two main causes for pressure wounds:


Pressure on one spot of the body for too long a time.

Pressure occurs when a person is in one position for too long. This reduces blood flow, causing damage to skin & tissue

Friction on the skin

Friction occurs when skin is dragged across a surface
Wound care with disability

Tips to prevent skin injuries

Staying hydrated

Staying healthy

Inspect bony areas of the body

Position/reposition regularly


Shearing wounds occur when forces moving in opposite directions are applied to the skin.

Heels, tailbone, and bottom are most at risk for shearing

Preventing pressure wounds in bed

  • Keep head elevation as low as possible while in bed

  • Move the individual in bed every two hours, or one hour if they are prone to pressure wounds

wound care - bed care
  • Use a drawsheet when possible to move the individual in bed

  • Use pillows and cushions to maximize comfort and minimize pressure

Wheelchair users

  • Wheelchair users should shift weight every 15 minutes

  • Seat cushions should be checked regularly

  • Inspect the wheelchair daily

Wound care tips:

  • Consult a trained healthcare professional when needed

  • Open sores require medication and dressings

  • Pressure wounds need to be treated immediately

  • Keeping the skin dry and clean will help prevent damage