Stroke Training and Awareness Resources (STARs)



Risk factors for developing pressure sores

It is important to be aware of a number of factors which may increase the risk of developing pressure sores in someone who has had a stroke.

Decreased sensation

A person with decreased sensation may not feel uncomfortable and therefore not know to change their position regularly.

Reduced mobility

If a person with decreased mobility becomes uncomfortable they may not physically be able to change their position without assistance.

Incontinence

Urine or faeces on the skin can cause the skin surface to become damaged and therefore more susceptible to the development of pressure sores. Skin damage can cause discomfort and may also lead to infection.

Decreased awareness

If a person has a reduced awareness of one side of their body, they may not realise that for example, their hand is stuck down the side of their chair. They may also have little insight into how long they have been in the same position for.

Poor diet

This may lead to malnutrition which can adversely affect the health of the skin and make the person more at risk of pressure damage. Dehydration can causes the skin to become dry and fragile and therefore also increases the risk of skin damage.

Infection

Infections can make a person feel tired and sometimes confused and therefore be reluctant/unaware of the need to change their position regularly or to eat and drink properly.

Tiredness

The effects of a stroke, participating in rehabilitation, low mood and certain drugs can all cause a person to be tired and sleepy. They may not be aware of the need to regularly change their position to prevent skin damage.

Page last reviewed: 29 Jan 2020