Most pressure sores heal eventually, although it can take a long time. It's best to prevent them if at all possible.
If you get a pressure sore in hospital, it could delay your recovery and stop you from going home for a long time.
Pressure sores usually affect just your skin. But rarely, pressure also damages deeper tissues such as muscle. If these tissues die, a deep wound appears that may go down as far as the bone.
If you have to stay in a bed, chair, or wheelchair, a health care professional should visit you to assess your chances of getting a pressure sore.
If they think you are at risk of getting a pressure sore, your doctors and nurses should try hard to protect your skin by:
Checking it regularly, or showing you or your carer how to do it
Shifting your position regularly, or showing you or a carer how to do it
Taking care not to rub or drag your skin when lifting you
Drawing up a timetable to help you keep moving
Using an extra supporting foam mattress, if you are in bed.
You can help yourself by:
Shifting your position regularly, if you can
Drinking plenty of liquids
Eating a healthy diet
Stopping smoking, if you smoke.
Big pressure sores can be hard to treat. They may heal slowly if your body is already fighting another serious medical condition, such as a stroke. But there are plenty of different mattresses, dressings, and other treatments you can try. It's important that you or your carer discuss all the options with the health professionals looking after you.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which advises the government on health care in England and Wales, says you should be assessed within six hours if you go into hospital.
You have a stroke when the blood supply to a part of your brain is cut off. This damages your brain and can cause symptoms like weakness or numbness on one side of your body. You may also find it hard to speak if you've had a stroke.
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