Prevention of pressure ulcers in the critically ill patient is a major responsibility of the critical care nurse. The authors review the causes of pressure ulcer development and the methods of identifying the patient at increased risk. Pressure relief strategies for use in critical care are presented, and currently available pressure reduction and relief devices are discussed. Because few research studies address pressure ulcer prevention in the critical care setting, future research in this area is needed to develop a reliable predictive tool for use with the critically ill patient. Level of risk needs to be linked with intervention to assist the nurse in managing the pressure relief options available in today’s market. In the meantime, prevention of pressure ulcers in critical care patients requires vigilance and the best use of available knowledge in the field

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