Terms to Know: Pressure Injury Prevention

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Adherence: Adherence is a term used to replace "compliance" in reference to a patient following clinician orders for wound care. Compliance implies that the patient should passively comply with the health care provider’s instructions, whereas adherence allows for patients to have the freedom to follow the provider’s recommendation without blame being focused on them if they do not or are not able to follow these recommendations.

Medical device–related pressure injury (MDRPI): MDPRIs are localized injuries to the skin or underlying tissue resulting from sustained pressure caused by a medical device, such as a brace, splint, cast, respiratory mask or tubing, or feeding tube.

Offloading: Offloading refers to minimizing or removing weight placed on the foot to help prevent and heal ulcers, particularly those caused by poor circulation to the feet due to diabetes.

Positioner and protecting devices: Positioners used in wound care are devices that elevate, transfer, place, support or help change the position of an entire body or individual parts. They utilize air, air-permeable fabrics, fiber fill, foam, gel, or a combination of these components.

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Pressure injury: A pressure injury is localized damage to the skin and underlying soft tissue, usually over a bony prominence or related to a medical or other device. The injury can manifest as intact skin or an open ulcer and may be painful. The injury occurs because of intense and/or prolonged pressure or pressure in combination with shear. The tolerance of soft tissue for pressure and shear may also be affected by microclimate, nutrition, perfusion, comorbidities, and condition of the soft tissue.

Pressure redistribution: Pressure redistribution spreads the pressure more evenly across the surface of the cushion or mattress. This reduces the amount of pressure put on any one part of the body (particularly hardened, rigid areas).

Prone positioning: Prone position is a physical position wherein the patient lies flat on their chest. This affects the distribution and volume of air in the lungs and can have direct effects on the expansion or collapse of the delicate alveoli that permit the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood.

Proning therapy support surface: A proning therapy support surface is a comprehensive mattress therapy system that safely provides rotation of 40 to 62 degrees in effectively proning patients.

Unavoidable: An unavoidable pressure injury can develop even though the provider evaluated the individual’s clinical condition and pressure injury risk factors; defined and implemented interventions consistent with individual needs, goals, and recognized standards of practice; monitored and evaluated the impact of the interventions; and revised the approaches as appropriate.

Wound assessment and monitoring systems: Wound assessment and monitoring systems consist of devices or digital aids used in the measurement, imaging, and documentation of wounds. Digital devices may provide two- or three-dimensional assessment of a wound with electronic medical record) software integration and may be non-contact.

November is Pressure Injury Prevention Month

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.

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