A pressure injury is localized damage to the skin and underlying soft tissue usually caused by a combination of pressure, shear and microclimate. Pressure injuries in general occur in the area between a bony prominence and an external surface. Pressure injuries are also known as decubitus ulcers, pressure ulcers, pressure sores and bedsores.
Pressure ulcers are very common by chronically ill patients, patients with spinal cord injuries and patients in coma, because they are less mobile and often sit or lay all day. This causes prolonged pressure at bony protrusions like the tailbone, hips and heels. As a result the skin’s blood supply reduces which may cause skin breakdown. Diseases like diabetes and arteriosclerosis can trigger pressure sores as well. Also in cases of malnutrition and neglect pressure injures are very common.
The severity of the pressure injury depends on:
• Duration of the pressure
• Intensity of the pressure
• Ability of tissue to tolerate pressure
• The presence of shear forces
• The amount of shear forces
• The presence of a microclimate (excessive heat, moisture)
Classifications of pressure injuries
There are four stages of pressure ulcer which classify the amount of tissue damage that has been sustained:
• Stage I: Non-blanchable redness in a further intact skin;
• Stage II: Shallowly injury to the skin which can lead to a blister;
• Stage III: Deeper injury through all layers of the skin, which results in a wound with a dry crust on it;
• Stage IV: Skin lesion with destruction of tissue which pierces to the bone, resulting in a deep crater covered with pus and dead tissue.
In some cases a pressure injury cannot be classified into one of the four stages. Sometimes there isn’t an open wound or a blister, but the tissues underneath the skin have been damaged. These kinds of injuries are called deep tissue injury (DTI) and often occur as a result of shear.
Prevent pressure injuries?
The treatment of pressure injuries is often very complicated. The primary objective is to prevent contamination leading to infection and reduce the pressure on that surface so the wound can heal. It is also necessary to address present shear and microclimate. The most important thing is to prevent new pressure injuries.
We believe the following points are advisable in preventing pressure sores:
• Inspect the skin regularly
• Frequently change posture, ideally every two hours
• Use a pressure-relieving mattress for people with a high risk to bedsores or people with a present wound
• Use a Vicair Adjuster O2, Vicair Vector O2 or another Vicair O2 wheelchair cushion to help prevent pressure injuries by addressing pressure, shear and microclimate all at the same time. Vicair O2 cushions are 100% breathable, for optimal temperature & moisture regulation. They are very hygienic as they can be entirely machine washed, without removing the air filling.
• Use a Vicair cushion as a part of a pressure injury treatment plan
Vicair’s pain relieving mattress
People who have to deal with bedsores often lay in bed. A good mattress or wheelchair cushion is essential for dealing with pressure sores. Our products are suitable for pressure ulcer prevention and can help to cure existing pressure ulcers.
The Vicair pain relieving mattress provides results in cases such as rheumatism, burn victims, cancer, terminal illness, spasms, severe pressure ulcers, kyphosis and in pain management. It has been clinically proven to even help with existing decubitus stages (I to IV).
Why Vicair wheelchair cushions?
We are a wheelchair cushion and mattress specialist with distributors and users in over 40 countries all over the world. Our products can be part of a pressure injury prevention plan or pressure injury treatment plan.
As a specialist we are convinced that high quality seating products and proper wheelchair setups are necessary to protect the skin and offer maximal functional stability. Our products offer/are:
• A very high level of comfort
• High quality skin protection / pressure ulcer prevention
• Very lightweight
• Low on maintenance
• Vicair O2 range is machine washable & 100% breathable
• Reliable and durable
• A unique combination of superior pressure redistribution and optimal positioning
• Maximal stability
• When necessary: easily tailored to your situation