This worksheet will help people with spinal cord injury (SCI) identify challenges they face when trying to prevent pressure ulcers and work with their health care providers to address those challenges. Instructions and links to more information about preventing pressure ulcers are listed on the reverse side of this page.
|Pressure Ulcer Prevention Tasks||What Challenges Do You Face When Trying to Complete This Task?||What Strategies Can You Use to Help Complete This Task More Effectively?|
|Hygiene and Personal Care||• Look at skin all over your body (using help from another person when needed to see all areas) for color changes, openings in the skin, or other signs of a pressure ulcer|
|• Consult with a health professional (by phone, e-mail, or in person) right away if you observe signs of a pressure ulcer|
|• Keep your skin clean and dry (including preventing bladder and bowel accidents)|
|• Avoid tight clothes that pinch your skin|
|Weight Shifting and Transfers||• Shift your weight while seated|
|• Shift your position in bed|
|• Transfer from surface to surface without scraping or rubbing your skin|
|Equipment||• Use a cushion or padding designed to evenly distribute pressure on all places where you sit (wheelchair, shower chair, commode, car seat, floor, etc)|
|• Use a mattress designed to shift pressure when lying down|
|• Check your cushion/mattress for problems (such as a leak) or signs of wear and tear|
|• Consult with a seating specialist periodically to evaluate whether any changes are needed in your wheelchair or cushion|
|Nutrition and Health||• Eat a healthy diet that includes the amount of protein recommended for you|
|• Drink enough water to stay hydrated (signs of dehydration include thirst, dark-colored urine, and difficulty starting urine flow)|
|• Maintain a healthy weight (as recommended by your doctor)|
|• Do not smoke|
|• Treat other medical conditions that may affect your circulation or how your skin heals (such as diabetes, heart problems)|
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Published online: July 21, 2015
© 2015 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.