“Bedsores form in the areas where we have the least padding of muscle and fat, especially right over a bone. The tailbone (coccyx), shoulder blades, hips, heels and elbows are common sites for bedsores. Total immobility, even for as little as 12 hours, can cause bedsores.
Circulation is impeded when blood flow slows or stops in the compressed area between bone and the surface of a bed or wheelchair. When the tissue is deprived of oxygen and nutrients, the skin can die in as little as half a day, although the evidence may not be obvious for days or even weeks.
When surgery, injury to the spinal cord, or an illness causes immobility the pressure of the immobilized body on certain areas can break down the skin. In bed, the most dangerous areas are the tailbone or buttocks and the heels. The toes, ankles, knees, hipbones, shoulders and shoulder blades, and even the rims of the ears are also at risk.
In a wheelchair, the locations at highest risk are again the tailbone and buttocks, as well as shoulder blades and the spine, and the backs of arms and legs where they touch the chair.”
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