Formal Carers

Carers who are working in residential or nursing homes or who are providing care in people's own homes are one of the most important groups of people when it comes to identifying those people who are most at risk of developing pressure ulcers.

By understanding what factors increase someone's risk and then what you can do to intervene you will be better equipped to prevent pressure ulcers in the people that you care for.

We have produced a pressure ulcer triggers form which will enable you to check the five areas that have the greatest amount of impact on risk:

- regular inspections of the Skin

- the Surface which a person is lying or sitting on

- an individual's ability to Keep moving

- whether someone has become Incontinent

- how much Nutrition (food and drink) they are taking on

These five elements make up the community SSKIN bundle which allows you to assess someone's level of risk and then intervene accordingly.

If you want to improve your own knowledge then why not book onto one of our training courses to ensure that you have all the tools to help you prevent pressure ulcers and to help educate others who might be at risk.

Family Carers

Family members who are looking after elderly relatives at home should be encouraged to learn about pressure ulcers and how they develop.  By knowing about the various things that will put someone at risk you will be in a far better position to be able to help prevent a pressure ulcer from occurring.

One of the first signs of a possible pressure ulcer is a reddened, discoloured or darkened area (an African American’s skin may look purple, bluish or shiny). It may feel hard and warm to the touch.

A pressure ulcer has begun if you remove pressure from the reddened area for 10 to 30 minutes and the skin colour does not return to normal after that time. Keep the person off the area, keep it clean and dry drink more water, inspect the area at least twice a day and call your health care professional if the discolouration has not gone in 48 hours.


Test the skin with the blanch test (click here to watch a video). Lightly press on the red, pink or darkened area with your finger. The area should go white; remove the pressure and the area should return to red, pink or darkened color within a few seconds, indicating good blood flow. If the area stays white or does not go white to begin with, then blood flow has been impaired and damage has begun.


Dark skin may not have visible blanching even when healthy, so it is important to look for other signs of damage like colour changes, temperature changes, swelling or hardness compared to surrounding areas.

If you want to use the Pressure Ulcer Triggers form that is provided for residential and domiciliary care settings, this will help you to record what you are concerned about around the five main areas for preventing risk - surface, skin inspection, mobility, incontinence and nutrition and hydration.  You can download the form here.

 

Pressure ulcers can be life threatening.  Make sure that you React to Red Skin and help to prevent a person you care about getting a pressure ulcer.