Information for the public

Assessing whether you are at risk

Assessing whether you are at risk

Anyone can get a pressure ulcer, but some people are more likely to develop one than others (they are referred to as 'at risk'). People of any age may be at risk. You might be at risk if you:

  • have problems moving or changing position without help

  • cannot feel pain over part or all of your body

  • have problems controlling your bladder

  • are seriously ill

  • are having an operation

  • have had a pressure ulcer before

  • have a poor diet and don't drink enough water

  • have problems with memory and understanding (such as with dementia)

  • have an injury which affects how you move.

There are lots of other reasons you might be at risk. If you are at risk of developing a pressure ulcer your healthcare professional will explain the reason for this.

Some people are at 'high risk' of developing a pressure ulcer. The more of the problems listed above that you have, the more likely you are to be at high risk. Some of the care for people at high risk is different to that for other people, and this is made clear throughout.

If you are admitted to a hospital or go into a care home you should be assessed to see whether you are at risk of developing a pressure ulcer as soon as possible after your admission.

You may be assessed if you are seeing a healthcare professional but are not being admitted to hospital or going into a care home (for example, you are at a GP surgery, an accident and emergency department, or a healthcare professional is visiting you at home) and you have a problem or condition that may increase your risk.

If you are not at risk, you should be reassessed if there is a change in your condition that puts you at risk (for example, if you have surgery, or a condition or illness you have gets worse).

  • Information Standard