Heel Pressure Ulcers: Purple Heel and Deep Tissue Injury

Salcido, Richard MD; Lee, Augustine MD; Ahn, Chulhyun MD, MS

Advances in Skin & Wound Care:
doi: 10.1097/01.ASW.0000403250.85131.b9
Features: Clinical Management Extra

PURPOSE: To enhance the learner's competence with information about heel pressure ulcers.

TARGET AUDIENCE: This continuing education activity is intended for physicians and nurses with an interest in skin and wound care.

OBJECTIVES: After participating in this educational activity, the participant should be better able to:

1. Interpret factors contributing to potential pressure ulcers (PrUs).

2. Apply knowledge gained on risk factors, prevention and treatment of heel PrUs, suspected deep tissue injuries, and "purple heel" to patient care scenarios.

ABSTRACT: The heel is a frequent site of pressure ulcer formation, in particular, the development of suspected deep tissue injury. This article reviews the epidemiology, pathophysiology and prevention of heel pressure ulcers. Also, the related concept of purple heel, a not-well-recognized entity, is introduced.

In Brief

This continuing education activity discusses the differences between heel pressure ulcers, deep tissue injury, and purple heel.

Author Information

Richard Salcido, MD • Editor-in-Chief of Advances in Skin & Wound Care and the Course Director for the Annual Clinical Symposium on Advances in Skin & Wound Care • William Erdman Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine • Senior Fellow, Institute on Aging; and Associate, Institute of Medicine and Bioengineering • University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Augustine Lee, MD • Research Fellow • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Chulhyun Ahn, MD, MS • Resident Physician • Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

All authors and staff in a position to control the content of this CME activity and their spouses/life partners (if any) have disclosed that they have no financial relationships with, or financial interests in, any commercial organizations pertaining to this educational activity.

To earn CME credit, you must read the CME article and complete the quiz and evaluation on the enclosed answer form, answering at least 13 of the 18 questions correctly.

This continuing educational activity will expire for physicians on August 31, 2012.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.