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State Spinal Cord Injury Service

Spinal Seating Modules

Skin checks

A skin check is indicated if there is a history of skin breakdown. Many sitting-acquired pressure injuries develop against seating support surfaces such as the cushion and back support. A skin check for redness or evidence of skin damage is conducted in supine or side lying position to assess these sites.

The goals of assessing the skin

  • To determine the location and shape of any reported scar tissue or wound
  • To check for other scars or skin marking
  • To establish if skin breakdown is due to pressure from a particular bony prominence against the support surface.


While the client is lying in supine or side lying position, simulate the sitting posture by flexing the hips and knees according to the client's postural assessment in the wheelchair. Gently palpate the scar or skin problem areas to see if they correlate with a bony prominence such as the ischial tuberosity (IT), sacrum, greater trochanter (GT), or coccyx.