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Pressure ulcers - what to ask your doctor

What to ask your doctor about pressure ulcers; Bedsores - what to ask your doctor

Pressure ulcers are also called bedsores, or pressure sores. They can form when your skin and soft tissue press against a harder surface, such as a chair or bed for a prolonged time. This pressure reduces the blood supply to that area. Lack of blood supply can cause the skin tissue in this area to become damaged or die. When this happens, a pressure ulcer may form.

Below are some questions you may want to ask your health care provider to help you or the person taking care of you to prevent and take care of pressure ulcers.

Images

Areas where bedsores occur

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Questions

Which parts of the body are more likely to get pressure sores?

What is the best way to take care of my skin every day?

What type of diet is best to prevent pressure ulcers or to help them heal?

When lying in bed:

If there is leakage of stool or urine, what else should be done to prevent pressure ulcers?

What is best way to keep areas dry?

If using a wheelchair:

If a pressure ulcer or sore is present:

When should the provider be called?

What are the common signs of infection?

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References

James WD, Elston DM, Treat JR, Rosenbach MA, Neuhaus IM. Dermatoses resulting from physical factors. In: James WD, Elston DM, Treat JR, Rosenbach MA, Neuhaus IM eds. Andrews' Diseases of the Skin. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 3.

Qaseem A, Humphrey LL, Forciea MA, Starkey M, Denberg TD. Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians. Treatment of pressure ulcers: a clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. 2015;162(5):370-379. PMID: 25732279 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25732279/.

Woelfel SL, Armstrong DG, Shin L. Wound care. In: Sidawy AN, Perler BA, eds. Rutherford's Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2023:chap 118.

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Review Date: 5/31/2022  

Reviewed By: Elika Hoss, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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