Information for the public

What happens if you are at high risk

Skin assessment

If you are at high risk of developing a pressure ulcer, your healthcare professional should ask about any pain or discomfort and check:

  • your skin, especially bony parts of the body, and the back of the head in babies, children and young people

  • for changes in the colour of your skin, especially redness that does not go away when pressed with the fingers

  • how the skin feels, for example temperature, firmness, and if it is wet or dry.

If you are an adult and have redness on your skin that doesn't go away when pressed with the fingers, your healthcare professional should offer you the treatments for preventing pressure ulcers listed in Prevention until the redness disappears. They may also check your skin regularly (at least every 2 hours).

Planning your care

Your healthcare professional should agree a care plan with you that explains how to avoid developing a pressure ulcer. The plan should cover:

  • what the result of your skin assessment was

  • how best to relieve pressure to skin areas at particular risk

  • how often you should change your position

  • any other problems related to pressure ulcers (for example, if you have difficulty moving)

  • what your preferences are.

Patient and carer information

You and your family or carers should be offered information that explains:

  • the causes of a pressure ulcer

  • the early signs of a pressure ulcer

  • ways to prevent a pressure ulcer

  • what having a pressure ulcer would mean for your health, your treatment options and the risk of pressure ulcers in the future.

Your healthcare professional should demonstrate how to move to avoid a pressure ulcer, and show you how to use any special equipment they have offered you.

  • Information Standard