Q. How are pressure ulcers prevented?

Care is aimed at identifying those at risk of pressure ulcers and implementing strategies to prevent them. Considerations include (but are not limited to) nutritious diet, medication, appropriate levels of hydration and managing any underlying illness and / or immobility (Haesler, 2014). Pressure relief is traditionally undertaken by manually repositioning the at-risk individual with the aid of a soft, conforming support surface. These are known as pressure reducing or static mattresses and are normally made of foam.

Those at greatest risk of pressure ulcers are usually placed on pressure redistributing or active mattresses (support surfaces). Active pressure redistributing mattresses have long been recognised as an effective aid in the managed prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers (Haesler, 2014). However, active mattresses are aids to managed care and should not be relied upon as curative devices in their own right.