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Q: identify factors which might put an individual at risk of skin breakdown and pressure sores
A: The persons age will be one factor, the elderly have skin which is thinner and less elastic. [ Another factor can be if they are on medication, and this may not be doing there skin much good. They may not be able to move much so the skin will be rubbing against one part of the bed for example. Usually the bed bound elderly and infirm patient is most at risk of skin breakdown and pressure
sores. People who wear illfitting shoes can also get pressure sores on their fit, called bunions. ]
Expert answered|Grasscarp|Points 4|
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Asked 11/24/2012 7:31:00 AM
Updated 10/8/2013 5:12:17 AM
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The factors which might put an individual at risk of skin breakdown and pressure sores are ;
Anyone with limited mobility — unable to easily change position while seated or in bed — is at risk of developing pressure sores. Immobility may be due to:
Generally poor health or weakness, Paralysis ,Injury or illness that requires bed rest or wheelchair use, Recovery after surgery, Sedation , Coma.

Age. The skin of older adults is generally more fragile, thinner, less elastic and drier than the skin of younger adults. Also, new skin cells are usually generated more slowly. All of these conditions of the skin make it more vulnerable to damage.
Lack of sensory perception. Spinal cord injuries, neurological disorders and other conditions can result in a loss of sensation. An inability to feel pain or discomfort can result in not being aware of bedsores or the need to change position.
Weight loss. Weight loss is common during prolonged illnesses, and muscle atrophy and wasting are common in people living with paralysis. The loss of fat and muscle results in less cushioning between bones and a bed or wheelchair.
Poor nutrition and hydration. An adequate amount of fluids, calories, protein, vitamins and minerals in the daily diet are important for maintaining healthy skin and preventing the breakdown of tissues.
Urinary or fecal incontinence. Problems with bladder control can greatly increase the risk of pressure sores because the skin may frequently be moist, making it more likely to break down. Bacteria from fecal matter can cause serious local infections and lead to life-threatening infections affecting the body in general.
Excess moisture or dryness. Skin that is moist from sweat or excessively dry is more likely to be injured in general and increases the friction between the skin and clothing or bedding.
Medical conditions affecting circulation. Because certain health problems, such as diabetes and vascular disease, affect circulation, parts of the body may not receive adequate blood flow, increasing the risk of tissue damage.
Smoking. Smoking impairs circulation and reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood. Therefore, smokers tend to develop more severe wounds, and their wounds heal more slowly.
Decreased mental awareness. People whose mental awareness is lessened by disease, trauma or medications are often less able to take the actions needed to prevent or care for pressure sores.
Muscle spasms. People who have muscle spasms or other involuntary muscle movement may have an increased risk of pressure sores from frequent friction or shearing.
Added 10/8/2013 5:12:17 AM
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