Pressure injuries

Pressure injuries are highly preventable and healing can take weeks or longer, during which time there is considerable impact on consumers and on health services. Therefore a strong focus on prevention is required.


The SA Health Pressure Injury Prevention and Management Policy Directive (PDF 297KB) establishes a consistent and evidence-based approach and responsibilities for pressure injury prevention and management. 

The SA Health Pressure Injury Prevention and Management Guideline (PDF 331KB) describes clinical practice that is based on national guidelines, and also systems for the delivery of care that are in accord with the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standard 8

The SA Health Preventing and Managing Pressure Injuries Accreditation Resource (PDF 1502KB) has been developed to support Health Services and provides examples of South Australian tools and resources that can be used to demonstrate an action and standard has been met.


National Safety and Quality Health Service Standard 8 – Preventing and managing pressure injuries  (2012), Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care.

The national standard describes evidence-based systems to prevent pressure injuries and manage them when they do occur. This includes:

  • Governance and leadership for the prevention and management of pressure injuries
    Health service organisations have governance structures and systems in place for the prevention and management of pressure injuries.
  • Preventing pressure injuries
    Patients are screened on presentation and pressure injury prevention strategies are implemented when clinical indicated.
  • Managing pressure injuries
    Patients who have pressure injuries are managed according to best practice guidelines.
  • Communication with patients and carers
    Patients and carers are informed of the risks, prevention strategies and management of pressure injuries.

National guidelines

The current national guidelines - Pan Pacific Clinical Practice Guideline for the Prevention and Management of Pressure Injury (2012) Australian Wound Management Association are recommended for SA Health.

Standards for Wound Management, 2nd edition (2010) Australian Wound Management Association Inc, ISBN 978-0-9807842-1-3

Pressure-relieving mattresses and devices

SA Health has developed a panel contract for purchase and hire of a variety of devices designed to reduce skin pressure.

Active (or dynamic) mattresses or chair cushions assist in in the care of consumers who are at risk of, or who have, a pressure injury or injuries.

The selection of devices and equipment guide (PDF 67KB) can assist pressure injury committees, procurement officers, equipment officers and clinical experts to make decisions regarding the most suitable mix of purchased and hired devices, to develop local systems for staff training and for rapid provision of devices.

Clinical decision-making processes are described in the SA Health Pressure Injury Prevention and Management Guideline (PDF 279KB).


Michele Sutherland
Senior Project Officer, Priority Areas
Telephone: (08) 8226 9599

Further information

For any enquiries, please contact the Safety and Quality Unit on telephone (08) 8226 6539.

Information for consumers


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