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Understand the anatomy and physiology of the skin Essay

Outcome 1 – Understand the anatomy and physiology of the skin in relation to pressure are care.

Describe the anatomy and physiology of the skin in relation to skin breakdown and the development of pressure sores. There are 4 stages in relation to the skin breaking down which causes pressure sores, it’s important that the correct staging is done because this determines the sort of medical treatment an individual may require. (stages below). STAGE 1

Skin may appear reddened like a bruise. The integrity of the skin remains intact-there are no breaks or tears, but the area is at high risk of further breakdown.

Skin breaks open, wears away and forms an ulcer.

The sore worsens and extends beneath the skin surface, forming a small crater. There may be no pain at this stage due to nerve damage. The risk of tissue death and infection are high.

Pressure sores progress, with extensive damage to deeper tissues (muscles, tendons and bones). Serious complications, such as osteomyelitis (infection of the bone) or sepsis (infection carried through the blood) can occur.


Identify pressure sites of the body.
Common places where pressure sores are likely to develop are, back of head and ears, elbows, lower back and sacrum, shoulders, hips, heels and the inner knees.

Identify factors which might put an individual at risk of skin breakdown and pressure sores. Factors that put individuals at risk of skin breakdown and pressure sores are confinement to a bed, chair or wheel chair, Inability to change positions without help, loss of bowel or bladder control, poor nutrition and/or dehydration and decreased mental awareness.

Describe how incorrect handling and moving techniques can damage skin.

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