Pressure ulcers or bed sores, as they are more commonly known, should be prevented at all costs. Every hospital and care home should have protocols in place to ensure that everything possible is being done to stop patients developing bed sores.

Pressure ulcers, once developed, can vary in severity and in the worst cases can lead to serious and life-threatening conditions such as blood poisoning and gangrene. They tend to occur in those with conditions that make it difficult to move and who are confined to bed for long periods. Some patients, for example, those with type 2 diabetes, are more susceptible than others. As the name suggests sores develop when a large amount of pressure is exerted on an area of the skin over a relatively short period of time.

Hospital and care home staff should use techniques such as changing a person’s position or using specialist mattresses and cushions to prevent their development.