How do pressure injuries (pressure ulcers) develop?

Updated: Mar 26, 2020
  • Author: Christian N Kirman, MD; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Answer

Pressure is exerted on the skin, soft tissue, muscle, and bone by the weight of an individual against a surface beneath. These pressures often exceed capillary filling pressure (~32 mm Hg). In patients with normal sensitivity, mobility, and mental faculty, pressure injuries do not occur. Feedback, conscious and unconscious, from the areas of compression leads them to change their body position, and these changes shift the pressure before any irreversible tissue damage develops. (See Pathophysiology and Etiology.)


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