The most important care for a patient at risk for pressure ulcers and those with bedsores is the redistribution of pressure so that no pressure is applied to the pressure ulcer. In the 1940s Ludwig Guttmann introduced a program of turning paraplegics every two hours thus allowing bedsores to heal. Previously such patients had a two year life-expectancy, normally succumbing to blood and skin infections. Guttmann had learned the technique from the work of Boston physician, Donald Munro.6
For individuals with paralysis, pressure shifting on a regular basis and using a wheelchair cushion featuring pressure relief components can help prevent pressure wounds.7 In addition, adequate intake of protein and calories is important. Maintaining proper nutrition in newborns is also used to prevent pressure ulcers. If unable to maintain proper nutrition through protein and calorie intake, it is advised to use supplements to support the proper nutrition levels.3 However, in order to avoid pressure damage, weight shifting is essential.
4. J Am Med Dir Assoc. Thomas DR, Diebold MR, Eggemeier LM (2005). "A controlled, randomized, comparative study of a radiant heat bandage on the healing of stage 3-4 pressure ulcers: a pilot study". 6 (1): 46–9.
5. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. "Preventing Pressure Ulcers in Hospitals". Retrieved 8 June 2012.
6. Adv Skin Wound Care ."Pressure ulcers in America: prevalence, incidence, and implications for the future. An executive summary of the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel monograph". 14 (4): 208–15. 2001.
7. D.Whitteridge, ‘Guttmann, Sir Ludwig (1899–1980)’, rev. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2012.
8. J Am Acad Dermatol. “Pressure ulcers.” 1998 Apr;38(4):517-36.