Institute of Health and
Biomedical Innovation

6C: Prevention

Once you have learned how to assess and manage a pressure injury, there are some important strategies that you can apply to reduce the risk of the injury from recurring. These may include the following:

Maintain regular skin inspections You should inspect the skin of clients every day for signs of pressure damage.
Use a prevention plan All clients found to be at risk of developing pressure injuries on assessment should have a preventive management plan in place. They should also be placed on a high-specification foam mattress with pressure-relieving properties.
Provide a stable temperature Providing a stable environmental temperature and avoiding extremes of hot and cold decreases the risk of pressure injuries.

Use soap-free cleansers Use of soap-free, pH neutral cleansers and emollients keep the skin in better condition. Skin that is dry is less likely to be able to withstand the effects of friction and shear.
Limit the client’s exposure to moisture Ensure limited or no exposure to excessive moisture such as perspiration, urinary and/or faecal incontinence or wound fluid.
Avoid rubbing or massaging bony prominences Massaging or rubbing bony prominences increases the risk of tissue damage.
Use foam wedges or pillows Pillows and foam wedges can be used to reduce pressure on bony prominences if positioned correctly.
Avoid using foam rings or donuts Avoid using foam rings or donuts as these increase the risk of pressure damage by pushing or forcing the tissue through a narrow opening.
Discourage clients from sitting or lying in one position Discourage prolonged sitting in a chair or wheelchair. Repositioning should occur every 15 to 60 mins if possible. Use positioning and turning schedules where appropriate.
Prevent shear and friction Elevate the foot of the bed 20o when sitting to prevent the client from sliding. Also, limit the amount of time clients spend with the head of the bed elevated.
Use appropriate manual handling Use correct lifting and manual handling techniques including slide sheets or equipment to transfer clients to reduce the risk of friction and shear.
Monitor the client’s nutrition and hydration Ensure adequate nutrition and hydration. You may need to refer to a dietitian if you are concerned about the client's nutritional status.
Foster team work Work as part of a team to ensure appropriate pressure injury prevention strategies are implemented. Your team includes the client, family members, general practitioner, nurses, care staff and allied health professionals.
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