Pressure ulcers are a major complication in people with a spinal cord injury and typically occur at the buttocks.  In addition pressure ulcers in the wider patient population put an added treatment burden on NHS resources. Development of a pressure ulcer is related to high rates of rehospitalisation and disability, and can be an enormous physical, emotional and financial burden. A recent report by NHS Improvement  states that in the NHS in England, 24,674 patients were reported to have developed a new pressure ulcer between April 2015 and March 2016, and treating pressure damage costs the NHS more than £3.8 million every day.

Pressure ulcers develop when continuous unrelieved pressure, friction or shear is applied to any tissue of the body, but usually occurs over a bony area.  If the pressure in the tissue is greater than the blood pressure then no blood can flow through the tissue.  For people with spinal cord injury who can't feel pain, these ulcers are often left un-noticed, and result in serious infections and long stays in hospital.  If left untreated they can lead to death.

Stoke Mandeville Spinal Research is committed in funding research that identifies new ways to prevent and treat pressure ulcers.

If you are a scientific researcher working on pressure ulcers please contact [email protected] to learn more about our research grant programme.