Pressure Ulcer Prevention

WoundSource Editors's picture
Risk Assessment Standardization

By the WoundSource Editors

The prevalence of pressure injuries among certain high-risk patient populations has made pressure injury risk assessment a standard of care. When utilized on a regular basis, standardized assessment tools, along with consistent documentation, increase accuracy of pressure injury risk assessment, subsequently improving patient outcomes. Conversely, inconsistent and non-standardized assessment and poor documentation can contribute to negative patient outcomes, denial of reimbursement, and possibly wound-related litigation.

Kelly Byrd-Jenkins's picture
Pressure Ulcer Reduction in Acute Care

by Kelly Byrd-Jenkins, CWS

It may come as no surprise to some, but pressure ulcers are among the only hospital-acquired conditions that have been on the rise in recent years. Other hospital-acquired conditions—such as adverse drug events, falls, and catheter-associated urinary tract infections—have decreased, according to a statement by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in January of this year.

Ivy Razmus's picture
Wheelchairs and Pressure Injuries

By Ivy Razmus, RN, PhD, CWOCN

People in wheelchairs are limited in their mobility, sensory perception, and activity. These limitations can lead to increased temperature and moisture on the areas that are in contact with the wheelchair surface. These risk factors place wheelchair users at a higher risk for pressure injuries. 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. Pressure from medical devices against the skin may also cause pressure injury. Patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) and its associated comorbidities are among the highest-risk population for developing pressure injuries. The incidence of pressure ulcers in patients with SCI is 25%–66%.

Heidi Cross's picture
Skin Changes at Life's End

by Heidi H. Cross, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, CWON

"If a patient is cold, if a patient is feverish, if a patient is faint, if he is sick after taking food, if he has a bed sore, it is generally the fault not of the disease, but of the nursing." —Florence Nightingale

Ouch! What an indictment of nursing and, by extension, the facility in which the nurse works. We have a lot to thank Florence Nightingale for—a brilliant woman considered to be the founder of nursing and nursing standards and the first to ever put statistics to health care, among other valuable contributions.

Heidi Cross's picture
Turning and Positioning

by Heidi H. Cross, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, CWON

Failure to T&P (turn and position) is always part and parcel of a pressure ulcer lawsuit and a key element of a complaint related to pressure ulcers, as illustrated in the opening quotation. T&P documentation is a dominant focus in chart analysis and is usually one of the first things that an attorney and the expert witness look for. If T&P documentation is satisfactory, the defendant is likely to prevail; if not, then the plaintiff may have a pretty rock-solid case. But as I have opined in previous blogs, is there such a thing as perfect documentation? Alas...NO! (Or at least, rarely.)

Susan Cleveland's picture
Support Surfaces for Special Populations

By Susan Cleveland, BSN, RN, WCC, CDP, NADONA Board Secretary

Part 2 in a two-part series looking at the basics of correctly using support surfaces to help redistribute pressure. Read Part 1 here.

Susan Cleveland's picture
Support Surfaces

By Susan Cleveland, BSN, RN, WCC, CDP, NADONA Board Secretary

Part 1 in a two-part series looking at the basics of correctly using support surfaces to help redistribute pressure. Read Part 2 here.

Aletha Tippett MD's picture
Pressure Ulcer Prevention

by Aletha Tippett MD

How do you prevent pressure ulcers? This is an interesting question and one that eludes many. Currently, I am involved in reviewing research proposals to prevent pressure ulcers (injuries). The funny thing is that there is nothing new. Everyone is using the same known techniques, just trying different forms. However, there is a proven way to prevent pressure ulcers and it was done years ago in a Cincinnati nursing home I was working in without any fanfare. The results from this nursing home wound care program were even published.1