By Mary Ellen Posthauer RDN, CD, LD, FAND
Despite all of the advances in risk assessment strategies, support surfaces, and vigorous educational efforts, pressure ulcers continue to be a major health care problem worldwide.
The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) accepted the challenge to increase awareness by participating in the 2nd World Wide Pressure Ulcer Prevention Day on November 20th. As clinicians we should all actively participate and use this opportunity to educate our patients, families and employees on the importance of preventing pressure ulcers. The NPUAP website has a wide range of free materials that you can downloaded to assist you in this endeavor. Press releases for hospitals and nursing homes are available for organizations to insert their logo and highlight their facility's events promoting this special day. World Wide Pressure Ulcer Prevention Day logos can be downloaded to post in prominent places around your organization to increase awareness.
A Comprehensive Resource for Pressure Ulcer Education
The NPUAP pressure ulcer fact sheet [PDF] includes pressure ulcer staging definitions—including unstageable pressure ulcers and suspected deep tissue injuries (sDTI)—along with pictures of each type of ulcer. The fact sheet also provides practical information on best practices for prevention of medical device related pressure ulcers, such as feeding tubes, oxygen tubes, etc.
The NPUAP patient guide [PDF] is another practical tool for caregivers and clients to raise awareness of how serious a pressure ulcer is and how they can be prevented. This guide stresses the importance attending to details including paying attention to what and how much someone is eating. I would suggest supplementing the fact sheet by providing examples, such as meal plans that emphasize the importance of protein, including a variety of fruits and vegetables. Remind caregivers to offer and encourage the consumption of fluids during the day, especially for clients who are unable to drink or eat without assistance.
Upcoming Webinar on Pressure Ulcer Risk Assessment
Clinicians are encouraged to celebrate the day on November 20th by participating in NPUAP's outstanding free webinar "Prediction or Assessment of Pressure Ulcer Risk: What difference does this make in practice?" presented by Nancy Bergstrom PhD, RN, FAAN. Dr. Bergstrom will be sharing the results of her multi-centered interventional trial on this subject. The webinar is currently full, but the NPUAP will be making the recording available as a free download. The objectives of the webinar include:
- Differentiate the goals of pressure ulcer risk prediction and pressure ulcer risk assessment.
- Discuss the clinical practice goals of risk assessment and care planning and the need for science.
- Describe the TURN Study: purposes and findings, including the safety checklist.
- Evaluate the state of the science for support surfaces and repositioning.
Take advantage of this unique opportunity and join in this world wide effort to prevent pressure ulcers.
About The Author
Mary Ellen Posthauer RDN, CD, LD, FAND is an award winning dietitian, consultant for MEP Healthcare Dietary Services, published author, and member of the Purdue University Hall of Fame, Department of Foods and Nutrition, having held positions on numerous boards and panels including the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel and the American Dietetic Association's Unintentional Weight Loss work group.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.