Resulting from sustained pressure, including that associated with shear1, pressure ulcers are localized injuries to the skin and/or underlying tissue that can lead to permanent disabilities, including (in extreme cases) amputation, organ failure, and even death. Despite industry-wide improvements in prevention, pressure ulcers continue to affect care communities. Approximately 20% of all patients in acute care environments are affected, and more than half of all pressure ulcers occur in long-term care situations2.
Every year, the United States spends an estimated $18 billion on treating patients affected by pressure ulcers, but research demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of facility-acquired pressure ulcers can and should be reasonably preventable3–5. Instituting successful deterrence strategies and comprehensive clinical guidelines will aid in limiting ulcer occurrences; and incorporating an ulcer-focused prevention program will not only reduce the wound-associated costs to you, but also improve the overall experience of your patient3.
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- National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel and Pan Pacific Pressure Injury Alliance. Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers: Quick Reference Guide. Emily Haesler (Ed.). Cambridge Media: Osborne Park, Western Australia; 2014.
- NHS (2010). NHS to adopt zero tolerance approach to pressure ulcers, National Patient Safety Agency, http://www.npsa.nhs.uk/corporate/news/nhs-to-adopt-zero-tolerance-approach-to-pressure-ulcers/. Captured August 14, 2014.
- Shoker, H. (2010). Taking the Pressure off NHS Resources: Walsall Hospital’s NHS Trust Pilots ArjoHuntleigh’s Pressure Ulcer Prevention and Outcome Assessment, ArjoHuntleigh Getinge Group
- Moore, Z. (2011). A randomized controlled clinical trial of repositioning, using the 30° tilt,- for the prevention of pressure ulcers, Journal of Clinical Nursing
- Pieper, B. (Ed.) with the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP). (2012). Pressure ulcers: Prevalence, incidence, and implications for the future. Washington, DC: NPUAP.