Pressure sores, or bed sores, are more likely to develop persons who are at higher risk due to one or more risk factors. A number of risk factors have been identified which put individuals at higher risk of pressure sores. Measures should be taken to reduce these risks.
Healthcare professionals must be aware of these risks when caring for patients in order to help prevent the unnecessary development of pressure sores. While risk factors may vary depending upon circumstances, the following represents a list of the most common:
- Confinement to a bed, chair or wheelchair. Persons confined to beds, chairs, or wheelchairs who are unable to move themselves, can develop bedsores in as little as a few hours if the pressure is not relieved;
- Someone with limited abilities, including the inability to change positions without others help.
- Poor nutrition and/or dehydration. Bed sores are more likely to form when the skin is not properly nourished.
- Decreased mental awareness. An individual with decreased mental awareness may not have the level of sensory perception or ability to act to prevent the development of pressure sores. The lack of mental awareness may arise from medications.