Pressure ulcers: prevention and management

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

Prevention: adults

Risk assessment

  • Be aware that all patients are potentially at risk of developing a pressure ulcer
  • Carry out and document an assessment of pressure ulcer risk for adults:
    • being admitted to secondary care or care homes in which NHS care is provided or
    • receiving NHS care in other settings (such as primary and community care and emergency departments) if they have a risk factor, for example:
      • significantly limited mobility (for example, people with a spinal cord injury)
      • significant loss of sensation
      • a previous or current pressure ulcer
      • nutritional deficiency
      • the inability to reposition themselves
      • significant cognitive impairment
  • Consider using a validated scale to support clinical judgement (for example, the Braden scale, the Waterlow score or the Norton risk-assessment scale) when assessing pressure ulcer risk
  • Reassess pressure ulcer risk if there is a change in clinical status (for example, after surgery, on worsening of an underlying condition or with a change in mobility)

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