Pressure Injury Prevention: Here's How You Can Make a Difference

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Stop Pressure Injuries - Pressure Injury Prevention

By Cheryl Carver LPN, WCC, CWCA, CWCP, FACCWS, DAPWCA, CLTC

I consider myself to be beyond blessed. I know that my purpose in life is to be useful, compassionate, and to make a difference in wound care… In any capacity I can.

I have no problem sharing my mother's story with my patients. I think it shows that I am genuine and compassionate. I do whatever works to help my patients understand the importance of pressure injury prevention and/or treatment. My point is: do whatever works. It is good to think outside of the box!

Pressure injuries affect millions of people worldwide, and are a big financial burden to both the patient and the health care facility. The suffering and lives lost are unimaginable.

I lost my mother at 47 years old, due to sepsis of hospital-acquired pressure injuries. It was traumatic for me to see my mother suffer this way—that's when I knew I must do what I can to help others prevent pressure injuries.

As health care providers, it is our responsibility. We must focus more on prevention and early detection of pressure injuries—reacting to discolored skin (keeping in mind all skin tones and that the presentation will be a bit different). The bottom line is that most pressure injuries are preventable. The cost of preventing a pressure injury is much less than the cost of treatment. I do not care if you work in a nursing home, hospital, clinic, home health, or as an at home caregiver, you MUST make prevention a priority.

Building Awareness: #StopPressureInjuries2017

The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) announced that World Wide Pressure Injury Prevention Day is to be celebrated on November 16, 2017. I encourage you to take this opportunity to not only educate your staff while bolstering quality of care, but to also think of ways to reach out to the community.

I've been called "Wound-er Woman" because I live and breathe wound care. It is my calling. It is my passion, no doubt about it. My goal is to move and shake this world in pressure injury prevention, but I am asking YOU TO HELP ME. I want you to flood social media with all of your creative education! I want you to use the hashtag #StopPressureInjuries2017. I will be looking for all of your hashtags!

I like to make education fun. It keeps the audience engaged. I have conducted skill carnivals for long-term care facilities, and found it to be very effective. If you are interested in any creative ideas, you can refer to a previous WoundSource blog of mine on pressure injury staff education.

The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) has developed many handouts and media materials that can be utilized in all health care settings. You can download any or all materials by clicking here.

About the Author
Cheryl Carver is an independent wound educator and consultant. Carver's experience includes over a decade of hospital wound care and hyperbaric medicine. Carver single-handedly developed a comprehensive educational training manual for onboarding physicians and is the star of disease-specific educational video sessions accessible to employee providers and colleagues. Carver educates onboarding providers, in addition to bedside nurses in the numerous nursing homes across the country. Carver serves as a wound care certification committee member for the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy, and is a board member of the Undersea Hyperbaric Medical Society Mid-West Chapter. She is the first LPN to be inducted as an Association for the Advancement of Wound Care (AAWC) speaker.

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.

Comments

As a member of AAWC, I hope are fully aware that a lot of wound care organizations are not using the name change. AAWC, College of CWS, APWH, AMDA all have come out as well as many wound care specialists who believe this name change to injury does not make sense. Please don't use it. It is not helping the cause.
Here's a great reference to consider reading-> Open letter to the Presidents of NPUAP and EPUAP _ Harm Jaap Smit _ Pulse _ LinkedIn

in my opinion, there are pros and cons with the name change. Using pressure ulcer as the term does not encompass the Stage 1, and DTI or sDTI ( suspected deep tissue injury, as theres no actual ulceration. Using pressure injury without specifying that the insult is in. the skin, appears vague, such that Fracture or bone deformities can be a form of pressure injury.

Thank you for bringing the incorrect use of "pressure injury" to a wide audience.

My response to you your comment would be the same as to Dr. Lee. Thank you for reading my blog! ;)

Hello Dr. Lee,
As a member of AAWC, I am also very aware of the Injury vs. Ulcer term debate. I am in 100% agreement with you. However, right now I am to use the term "injury" in my blog writing. I hope to see a permanent change back to ONLY "ulcer". Thank you.

Great article

Hi Cheryl, I developed a Pressure Injury Staging Application, it is based on NPUAP staging definitions. I developed an algorithm its utilizes tissue type then tissue color, and any variable, and it gives you the appropriate stage, the user can also access the staging definitions at anytime they are assessing the wound.

That is great! Simplifying the staging system is what I do. I also have created an algorithm for product selection by tissue depth. It can be confusing for clinicians, this makes is much easier.

Can you share your algorithm based on tissue depth

Dear Cheryl, welcome to this new stage of your life. You have been called to do this and as you find your way, I know you will be God’s hands. Congratulations for what you have done so far. Blessings...

I have a concern with about wounds and pressure ulcers. My mom is currently in a facility and her funds are horrible. I find myself, constantly repositioning her because she is constantly on her back side. The RN told me the Nursing Assistants don't know or understand how or what to do. How is this possible in long term care that you don't know how to turn someone? Who is training these CNA's and how are you certified and not know how to do simple care and positioning? Thats the first step in won prevention. I want to jump on the band wagon and get more educated on wound care. I'm a tech on CCU and have worked in long term care for over 30 years. I'm stunned about this.

Hi Deborah. First, I'm sorry about your mother. Unfortunately, I've seen this many times myself. Not only long term care. Education is key to prevention and awareness. I have been trying to educate as many people as I can the last almost 20 years. If I could figure out a way to make sure EVERY healthcare setting is armed with prevention education, I would. I share your frustration.

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