Ulcer prevention

Information for healthcare professionals

Pressure ulcers (also known as pressure sores or bedsores) are injuries to the skin and underlying tissue, primarily caused by prolonged pressure on the skin.

They can happen to anyone, but usually affect people confined to bed or who sit in a chair or wheelchair for long periods of time.

Symptoms of pressure ulcers

Pressure ulcers can affect any part of the body that’s put under pressure. They’re most common on bony parts of the body, such as the heels, elbows, hips and base of the spine.

They often develop gradually, but can sometimes form in a few hours.

In the ‘Stop the Pressure 2023’ campaign, the Society of Tissue Viability says ‘Every contact counts’:

  • Every contact with a clinician, healthcare professional or carer can help prevent pressure ulcers
  • Every contact with a bed, chair or other surface can help prevent pressure ulcers
  • Every contact with leaders in healthcare can help prevent pressure ulcers
  • Every contact on social media or traditional media can help prevent pressure ulcers

The Society of Tissue Viability has produced a Powerpoint presentation with narration that explains why pressure ulcer risk assessment is so important.

Our own Tissue Viability service have produced a video on Pressure Ulcer Prevention:

Visit the Pressure Ulcer intranet page to find more resources on pressure ulcer prevention.