Here is the Mayo Clinic’s definition and explanation of a pressure sore (injuries to skin and underlying tissue resulted from prolonged pressure).
Here is the human reality.
Pressure sores are a fact of life for many people with SCI. Extended periods of time spent in bed or in a chair increase the risk of skin breakdown. For the individual with SCI the starting point is fear. Fear that an ulcer may occur. Fear that an ulcer is occurring. Fear that the ulcer will not heal quickly. Fear that the ulcer will not heal. Fear that the ulcer may lead to increased disability or even death.
When the sore occurs, immediate medical intervention is necessary. Treatment varies depending on the stage of ulcer progression. Ranging from changing bandages to the cutting away of dead tissue and skin grafting.
While the body heals and attempts to heal, the person is confined to home, nursing facility or hospital. This period of time can last for weeks, months and in the case of the man who colored this drawing – years. It can be an isolating time. Depression and anxiety may result.
The best way to manage pressure sores for people with SCI, is to avoid getting them in the first place. But this is much easier said than done. Wheel chair cushions may not fit quite right – or wear out over time. An attempt to do a sport may rub the wrong way. Staying in bed too long is risky as well. Some people appear to be more prone to pressure sores others. What works for one person may not work for another.
Which leads to the second best way to manage pressure sores – make sure the skin is carefully checked on a daily basis.