Prevent pressure injuries: Know the 4 contributing factors

Improve outcomes with evidence-based best practices.

Minimize pressure over bony prominences

Pressure on any area of the body can cause skin damage, but bony prominences like heels and the sacrum are more susceptible to injury because there’s less fatty tissue. Studies show that as many as 38.5% of stage 4 pressure injuries occur at the heels.1 Help improve outcomes by avoiding the use of traditional pillows that sink and change shape. Instead, select an advanced heel offloading device designed to reduce pressure, while stabilizing the lower leg. Add a prophylactic dressing to the heels for increased protection. Redistribute pressure at the sacrum and other bony prominences with a high-density foam wedge and appropriate support surfaces.

Two clinicians repositioning a patient in bed; inset of red pressure icon

Get the right tilt

ComfortGlide Wedges stay in place at the NPIAP-recommended 30-degree angle.

Learn more

Clinician adjusting heel boot on patient foot; inset of red pressure icon

Elevate heels

Completely offload vulnerable heels with easy-to-use HeelMedix Advanced Heel boot.

Learn more

Guard against friction and shear

Friction and shear go hand in hand and are particularly damaging for older, thinner skin. Even shifting positions on a mattress can cause skin breakdown. Use these strategies as part of your pressure injury prevention protocols:

  • The right repositioning system allows you to safely and gently move patients to help redistribute pressure and decrease dragging during transfer from one surface to another.
  • A five-layer sacral foam dressing can help absorb shear force and reduce friction, minimizing the risk of pressure injury development.
Two clinicians holding handles of ComforGlide sheet under patient in bed; insets of orange friction icon and yellow shear icon

Reposition gently

The low-friction bottom on ComfortGlide Repositioning Sheets reduces friction and shear.

Learn more

Patient in hospital gown lying on side with foam dressing on sacrum; insets of orange friction icon, yellow shear icon and pink moisture icon

Protect the sacrum

Optifoam Gentle Sacral foam dressing helps manage friction and shear to protect at-risk skin.

Learn more

Balance moisture more effectively

Excessive moisture or severe dryness can weaken the skin’s natural barrier. Medications, comorbidities, smoking and older age can increase risk of skin breakdown. That’s why the NPIAP recommends a proven skin care regimen:

Grouping of Remedy Intensive Skin Therapy products; inset of pink moisture icon

Follow a proven skin care regimen

Botanical ingredients help Remedy Intensive Skin Therapy protect and nourish at-risk skin.

Learn more

Illustration of skin; overlay of sacral dressing showing layers; insets of pink moisture icon, orange friction icon and yellow shear icon

Regulate skin’s microclimate

Optifoam Gentle is breathable and helps manage humidity and excess moisture.

Learn more

Explore more strategies to fight pressure injuries

Make it easier for staff to prevent skin damage by sharing these helpful resources with your team.

Headshot of Kara Couch

Build a successful PI prevention program

Certified Wound Specialist Kara Couch discusses how to gain leadership support, engage frontline staff, monitor compliance and more.

Watch webinar

Clinician holding clipboard at foot of patient bed

Refocus on the basics

Discover more strategies that will help you create a culture of prevention—and find out if you still believe any of these myths of pressure injury prevention.

Read the article

Thumbnail of pressure injury staging poster

Correctly stage pressure injuries every time

When it comes to the right PI interventions and treatment, start with correctly staging the injury. Use this poster for simple visual cues.

Get the poster


Drive change with a comprehensive solution

Discover our Skin Health Solution, designed to help staff refocus on the basics to provide more consistent care and prevent skin breakdown. This comprehensive approach includes best practice guidance, staff education and training, and a unique system of products. All to make skin health second nature.

See how we do it


1.National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers/Injuries Clinical Practice Guideline, page 145

Make skin health second nature