142 Women with Disabilities
➤ Pressure sores
are one of the main
causes of death in
persons with spinal
If you sit or lie down all or most of the time, you can
develop pressure sores. These sores start when the skin over
the bony parts of the body is pressed against a chair or bed.
The blood vessels get squeezed shut, so that not enough blood
can get to the skin.
If too much time passes without moving, a dark or red patch
appears on the skin. If the pressure continues, an open sore
can develop and work its way deeper into the body. Or the
sore can start deep inside near the bone and gradually grow
out to the surface. Without treatment, the skin can die.
For information on how to treat pressure sores, see page 306.
• Try to move at least every 2 hours. If you lie down all the
time, have someone help you change position.
If you sit all day...
...lift your bottom by
pushing yourself up
with your hands...
...or lean over from
side to side.
• Lie or sit on a soft surface that reduces pressure
on bony areas. A cushion or sleeping pad that has
hollowed-out areas around the bony parts will
help. Or make a simple cushion or sleeping pad
from a plastic bag filled with uncooked beans and
rice. It must be refilled with new rice and beans
once a month.
• Examine your whole body carefully every day.
You can use a mirror to look at your back. If
you notice a dark or red place, try to avoid any
pressure on this
area until your
• Try to eat
plenty of fruits,
foods rich in protein.
skin every day.
• During monthly bleeding, do not use cloth or tampons
inside your vagina to catch the blood. They can press
against your bones from inside your body and cause a sore
in your vagina.
• Try to bathe every day. Pat your skin dry, but do not rub it.
Avoid lotions or oils, because they can make your skin soft
and weaker. And never use alcohol on your skin.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012