In today's health care market, we have numerous turning and repositioning tools, offloading devices, and sensor technology gadgets available. You may ask "Why do we need any of these technologies if we provide consistent quality of care?" "Consistent" is the key word in preventing ALL pressure injuries/ulcers. There are nursing shortages, gaps in education, and a need for nursing or caregiver efficiency. There will always be a risk of pressure injury/ulcer development for our sick patients. If we can use advanced technology to promote "consistent" quality of care, we should do it. However, in our health care system, the battle for reimbursement drives what equipment we can use for our patients. We need to compare and assess the available options before selecting what enhanced prevention tools or devices we may want to utilize.
Cuing Innovations – The following tools provide the body location to offload and position every two hours:1
The following devices are used to help offload pressure or reduce sheer to help reduce the incidence of pressure injuries/ulcers.
Offloading footwear – This type of footwear consists of therapeutic shoes designed to provide pressure redistribution.3
Protectors – Protectors are devices that help reduce injury to the skin caused by friction or shear forces. The most commonly used locations are the elbows and heels.
Positioners – Positioners offload by suspending, elevating, or changing position of the body area.
Selecting the appropriate support surface is determined by many factors. This is key in preventing and managing pressure injuries/ulcers. You want to remember that your patients’ size and weight will determine the contact area between them and the surface. For example: You wouldn't want to use a two-inch seating cushion on a 300lb person. The cushion will not help redistribute pressure.
Enhancing your prevention program will drive good outcomes when equipment is selected and used correctly for your patients. Check equipment daily to ensure it is functioning properly. Are the powered pumps set on the correct weight? Is the device helping to remove the cause of pressure injury/ulcer risk? Ongoing education to staff, caregivers, and the patient is also important in reaching prevention goals. Understanding the best ways to prevent a pressure injury/ulcer is paramount in improving patients' outcomes and reducing overall health care costs.
1. Carver C. Tools to Maximize Turning and Repositioning Programs for Pressure Injury Prevention. WoundSource. 2016. https://www.woundsource.com/blog/tools-maximize-turning-and-repositioni…. Accessed on October 8, 2018.
2. Medgadget. Siren Diabetic Socks Monitor Temperature of Feet, Detects Early Signs of Injury. 2018. https://www.medgadget.com/2018/04/siren-diabetic-socks-monitor-temperat…. Accessed on October 8, 2018.
3. WoundSource.Offloading Footwear. 2018. https://www.woundsource.com/product-category/offloading-devices/offload…. Accessed on October 8, 2018.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, HMP Global, its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.