Pressure ulcers causes summary.

 Pressure ulcers causes

Knowledge of underlying causes of pressure ulcer helps physicians to implement action to prevent or treat the ulcer. Pressure ulcers are primarily caused by unrelieved pressure, shear, friction and moisture. Constant pressure on a body area decreases blood flow, limiting oxygen and nutrient delivery to tissues resulting in inflammation, tissue damage or tissue death. Shear is developed when two surfaces move in different directions, causing the skin to separate from the underlying tissues (Wright, 2007). For example, the shear may be experienced when one slides down on the floor or sitting in a chair.

Friction occurs when two surfaces rub against each other, causing damage to the superficial blood vessels under the skin. Friction can occur when patients are slid or pulled over bedsheets during stretcher transfer or moved up in bed. Pressure ulcer may also be caused by moisture which mainly contributes to maceration of the skin (Wright, 2007). Moisture on the skin due to sweats, wound drainage, urine and faeces may also increase the damage caused by friction, pressure and shear hence increasing pressure ulcers deleterious effect. Finally, pressure ulcers may also be caused by intrinsic factors such as improper nutrition, limited mobility, ageing skin and comorbidities.

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