Everything You Wanted to Know about Pressure Sores from an Occupational Therapy Perspective

Universal/accessible design of the home from an occupational therapy and a construction perspective. This blog is part of a quest for cool, convenient, functional design that makes life safer, easier, and as maintenance-free as possible. It's about the lifestyle.

The Stages of a Pressure Ulcer and Treatment:

By:  Kristen Ianuzzi and Danae Abel-Templin 


Description and Illustration
Treatment and Photograph
Stage 1:
Sores are not yet open wounds, the skin may be painful but it has no breaks or tears. The skin appears reddened but doesn’t blanche. The stage 1 sore can feel firmer or softer than the area around it.
       Keep pressure off of the sore using foam or similar pressure redistribution surfaces

       Avoid prolonged slouching position
       Minimize seating time
       Modify sitting-time schedules and posture
       Protect the sore from any future tissue damage
       Gently wash the wound with mild soap and water and pat dry
       Evaluate the diet for proper nutrients
       Review mattresses, wheelchair cushions, pressure releases, and transfers for a possible cause
       Potentially use a protective dressing like Tegaderm

Stage 2: The skin breaks open, wears away, or forms an ulcer which is usually tender or painful. The sore expands into deeper layers of the skin. At this stage, some skin may be damaged beyond repair or die.
       Follow the same steps as above but use a saltwater solution for cleaning as the skin is open.
       Check for wound healing with each dressing change
       Check for signs of infection