Pressure Ulcers and Heavier Patients

According to the current news, the American population is heavier than before and increasingly getting heavier.  As a result, the hospital bed industry have increased its offerings of beds and mattresses to accommodate for heavier patients. 

Since heavier body weights may increase pressures on supporting skins, one might assume that pressure ulcers are increasing also.  However, decubitus ulcer (pressure ulcer) patients seem to be unaffected by this “growing” American trend.  Clinical studies show that thin patients are at higher risk for pressure ulcers at the sacrum (bone between glutes), ischial tuberosity (sitting bones), trochanter (side hip bone) and shoulder than normal weight and obese patients.  In fact, only one in ten pressure ulcer patients were extremely obese.

Pressure ulcers occur in people of all sizes, shapes, and weights.  However, contrary to a possible belief that pressure ulcers occur more frequently in heavier people, caregivers should note that thin, lighter people are more susceptible to pressure ulcers.

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1 comment

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