Spotlight on Pressure Sores

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Spotlight on Pressure Care

This newsletter is for everyone working with children and adults in Waltham Forest.

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What is a pressure sore?

A pressure ulcer, often known as a pressure sore or bed sore, is damage to the skin and deeper layer of tissue under 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.

This happens when pressure is applied to the same area of skin for a period of time and cuts off blood supply. Bed sores often develop on the back, heels, ankles, hips and tailbone and may include:

  • Reddish skin
  • Dark scab
  • Chronic wound or swelling
  • Tender skin
  • Pus-filled blisters

If untreated for a prolonged period, pressure sores may lead to complications such as:

  • Cellulitis: Infection of the skin and connected soft tissues
  • Bone and joint infections: An infection from a pressure sore can burrow into joints and bones, causing bone and joint infection which affect the function of the joints
  • Cancer: Long-term, non-healing wounds can develop into a squamous cell carcinoma
  • Sepsis: Occurs rarely
  • Spasm and contractures: occurs rarely

It is vital that those of you working with our residents are aware of the importance of preventing them and steps you can take to support this, as it is estimated that nearly half a million people in the UK will develop at least one pressure ulcer in any given year.

Pressure care webpage

Learn the simple steps we can all take to prevent these life-changing injuries by watching:

Daniel's story

Pressure Care Guidance

What is Think S.S.K.I.N.?

Use this guidance to watch out for any concerning changes in skin which might indicate pressure sores:

 S = Surface: Are your support surfaces, for example, your bed, cushions and chair, suitable to prevent pressure ulcers? Your nurse or carer can explain different types of equipment and answer any questions you may have.

 S = Skin inspection: Check your skin for pressure damage at least once a day. Look for redness or skin that is darker than normal. Do any areas of your skin feel hot or painful? Also watch out for blisters, dry patches or cracks in the skin.

 K= Keep moving: Moving and changing position reduces the risk of pressure ulcers. Change your position as often as you can, with help from your carers if needed, even if you have a special mattress or cushions.

 I = Incontinence or moisture: Wet or damp skin increases the risk of pressure ulcers developing. Keep your skin dry and clean. Use a barrier cream if it is recommended by your nurse or other healthcare professional.

 N = Nutrition and hydration: Eating well and drinking plenty of fluids reduces the risk of developing pressure ulcers. If you are having difficulties eating or drinking, speak to your nurse or carers.

If you see warning signs of pressure sores, contact healthcare professionals on NELFT Single Point of Access on 0300 300 1710.

pressure care

Upcoming training

Carers Week is taking place between 6 and 12 June and will involve a series of training sessions and workshops aimed at practitioners and carers across Waltham Forest - calendar of activity will be shared to partnership soon.

Professionals across the partnership are invited to sign up to the following FREE safeguarding training sessions:

Tuesday 24 May - 10.30 to 12.30pm: Safeguarding Adolescents Awareness Training

Thursday 26 May - 2 to 3pm: Modern Slavery Awareness for Professionals

Tuesday 19 July - 10.30 to 12.30pm:Safeguarding Adolescents Awareness Training

Wednesday 7 September - 2 to 4pm: Impact of modern slavery on women in Waltham Forest

This newsletter is brought to you by the Strategic Partnership Boards, which is made up of Waltham Forest Safeguarding Children’s Board, Safeguarding Adults Board, Health & Wellbeing Board and SafetyNet (our Community Safety Partnership).

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Summer starts here_May 2022

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