Who is at risk?
While pressure injuries can occur to anyone, people more likely to suffer include those with spinal cord injuries, the elderly, people with poor mobility, incontinence issues or past medical history of such injuries.
“It’s not so much the length of time you spend in bed, it’s whether you’re able to move yourself. Somebody could spend long periods of time lying down or sitting but if they can shift their weight and move themselves slightly, that’s okay. It’s the ones who can’t feel their own limbs or move themselves around who are most at risk.”
Nutrition is another important aspect, and people with high or low BMIs are two major risk categories. “Just because somebody has a high BMI doesn’t mean they’re well nourished,” Katie says. “That’s one of the biggest things that I think is overlooked. ‘Oh, they’ve got a high BMI, they’ll be fine.’ But actually, they often have a low nutrient diet.”
Protein is particularly important for healing wounds, along with sufficient nutrients and body fat so that our cells can repair. “Hydration is another important aspect. If we’re not hydrated, then our skin becomes dry and it loses its elasticity and is unable to prevent pressure injuries as much.”