Risk Assessment and Prevention

Dianne Rudolph's picture

By Dianne Rudolph, APRN, GNP-BC, CWOCN, UTHSCSA

Pressure injuries (PIs) are defined by the National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel as “localized damage to the skin and/or underlying soft tissue usually over a bony prominence or related to a medical or other device.” Pressure injuries may present as intact skin or as an open ulcer. These wound may be painful. Pressure injuries occur after exposure to prolonged pressure or as a result of pressure in combination with shear. Other factors may affect soft tissue tolerance, such as nutrition, perfusion, microclimate, the presence of comorbidities, and the condition of the soft tissue.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

Human skin is home to many types of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that compose the skin microbiota or microbiome. As with microorganisms in the gut, these organisms have an important role in protecting from pathogens and breaking down natural products. The sheer quantity of life found in the skin microbiome is staggering. It often contains up to one billion microorganisms on a single square centimeter.

Dianne Rudolph's picture

Moisture-associated skin damage (MASD) is a common problem for wound clinicians. It connotes a spectrum of skin damage caused by inflammation and erosion (or denudation) of the epidermis resulting from prolonged exposure to various sources of moisture and potential irritants. These can include urine, stool, perspiration, wound exudates, or ostomy effluent. MASD includes several different categories: incontinence-associated dermatitis (AID), intertriginous dermatitis, periwound skin damage, and peristomal MASD. Of these categories, IAD is one of the more challenging issues for clinicians to recognize and treat. It is not uncommon for IAD to be inaccurately assessed as a stage 2 pressure injury. For the purposes of this blog, the focus is on differentiating between IAD and pressure injuries. Treatment strategies are also addressed.

Holly Hovan's picture

By Holly Hovan MSN, GERO-BC, APRN, CWOCN-AP

“Top-down skin injuries” is an increasingly common term used to describe superficial cutaneous injuries. Top-down injuries result from damage beginning at the skin’s surface or the soft tissue. In contrast, “bottom-up injuries” are often the result of ischemia. Top-down injuries usually result from mechanical forces, inflammation, or moisture. Common top-down injuries are moisture-associated skin damage, skin tears, and medical adhesive–related skin injury (MARSI). In this blog, I focus on assessing, defining, and preventing MARSI.

Holly Hovan's picture

By Holly Hovan MSN, GERO-BC, APRN, CWOCN-AP

We have all heard the saying: a dry cell is a dead cell… we know that a moist wound bed is most conducive to healing. If a wound is too dry, we add moisture… and if a wound is too wet, we try to absorb the drainage. There must be a balance of moist and dry to promote an optimal healing environment. Much like a dry cell is a dead cell, a wound that is too moist often has delayed wound healing.

Alton R. Johnson Jr.'s picture

By Alton Johnson Jr., DPM, CWSP

Since my last blog post, I was fortunate enough to turn 32 years old. To many of us, turning 32 years old does not seem like much of a big deal, but as an African American man, it is, because the average life expectancy of a Black man in America is 75 years, which is the lowest life expectancy of all ethnicities in America. Essentially, in five years, I will be statistically at my midlife. It is with that mind that I work tirelessly for all patients, but I try to emphasize to African American patients the importance of wound healing, diabetes management, and overall healthy well-being.

Emily Greenstein's picture

By: Emily Greenstein, APRN, CNP, CWON, FACCWS

Being a wound care professional is often a lot like being a detective. You have to decide what caused the wound, what is contributing to its not healing and how you are going to get it to heal. I have decided to start a series of “cases” that are commonly overlooked or seen in the chronic wound care setting. The cases will focus on real-life scenarios—moisture-associated skin damage versus pressure injury, red leg syndrome versus venous stasis ulcer, how to identify pyoderma, and the importance of a moist wound healing environment. This series will also provide practical strategies for overcoming healing obstacles for slow, non-healing, and challenging wounds.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

Pressure injuries are among the most significant health and patient safety issues that health care facilities face daily. Aside from the strong impact on patients’ quality of life, they also have high costs of treatment, not just to the patient, but also to the health care industry. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reported $20,900 to $151,700 per individual patient and pressure injury in health care costs. The prevalence of present-on-admission (POA) pressure injuries is 26.2% among those admitted to the hospital from a nursing home and 4.8% among those admitted from another living setting. Hospital-acquired pressure injuries (HAPIs) cost the US health care system $9.1 to $11.6 billion a year.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has forced health care professionals to take a closer look at the most effective and appropriate measures for pressure injury prevention. In 17% of all COVID-19 cases pneumonia secondary to acute respiratory distress syndrome is the most common complication; therefore, prone positioning is used as an adjuvant therapy. The prone position allows for dorsal lung region recruitment, end-expiratory lung volume increase, and alveolar shunt decrease. To be most effective, this position should be maintained for 10 to 12 hours, thereby increasing prolonged pressure on certain areas of the body. However, prone positioning should be supervised and monitored regularly by nursing staff experienced with this positioning technique.