Preventing Pressure Sores
Pressure sores are a common complication of paralysis. Pressure sores occur when unrelieved pressure on the skin compresses the blood vessels that carry nutrients and oxygen to the skin. When the skin lacks blood for too long, the tissue dies and pressure sores form.
Pressure sores are not a minor complication. They can take lots of time and money to heal, taking you away from your life, family, and job. A pressure sore can result in several weeks of hospitalization, and some may even require surgery or skin grafting.
Luckily, for the most part pressure sores are preventable. Skin should be inspected daily, particular the areas of bony prominence. Patients should have appropriate support surfaces, and should be repositioned frequently. The skin should be kept neither too dry or too moist, and during cleaning care should be taken to minimize the force of friction on the skin. Finally, good nutrition will help any pressure sores that do occur to heal.