The heel is uniquely vulnerable as a pressure ulcer site – the second most common site after the sacrum – according to a recent study of almost 450,000 patients .
Why the heel?
The heel is especially sensitive for a number of reasons :
- Low blood flow to heel area
- Less soft tissue padding over the bony prominence
- Shear forces from patient sliding in bed
Understand the heel's vulnerability
Beyond creating an incalculable burden to the patient, the cost of treating pressure injuries can be up to 3.6 more than the cost of prevention .
Solutions as individuals as your patients
Furthermore, reduced mobility or hyper-mobility are equally likely to cause heel pressure ulcers . Despite the same result, different interventions are needed. Many factors influence the risk of heel pressure ulcers and the ability to heal, and every patient is unique.
L to R: Reduced mobility and requires offloading, Hypermobility and requires protection
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