Pressure Ulcers

Cheryl Carver's picture
Worldwide Pressure Ulcer/Injury Prevention & Awareness Day

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

Worldwide Pressure Ulcer/Injury Prevention & Awareness Day is November 21st. This day is considered pretty much a holiday at my home. I have Stop Pressure Ulcer tee shirts, and I order a cake or STOP sign cookies every year from the bakery in memory of my mother. To some it might sound crazy, but my life was strongly impacted forever in 1996 after my mother passed away in my arms at only 47 years old because of complications of diabetes and what was called at that time "multiple decubitus." The image and smell will never leave my mind. It changed my life forever as a daughter, a caregiver, and later as a wound nurse. I needed more answers to heal my heart. How could my mother acquire such horrible wounds while at the hospital to get better? My mind was twirling nonstop with the 5Ws. Who, what, when, where, why? So, then it began. I wanted to learn everything I could. This ended up being sort of my therapy, which transitioned into my passion and purpose.

Heidi Cross's picture
End of Life Skin

Heidi Cross, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, CWON

Ms. EB, a frail 82-year-old woman admitted to a long-term care facility, had a complex medical history that included diabetes, extensive heart disease, ischemic strokes with left-sided weakness and dysphagia, dementia, kidney disease, anemia, chronic Clostridium difficile infection, and obesity. Her condition was guarded at best on admission, and she had a feeding tube for nutrition secondary to dysphagia. Despite these challenges, she survived two years at the facility.

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.

Heidi Cross's picture
Pain and Suffering Documentation

Heidi Cross, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, CWON

"Me and Jenny goes together like peas and carrots." – Forrest Gump

Just like Forrest's peas and carrots, a pressure ulcer lawsuit and a pain and suffering allegation inevitably "goes together." For good reason, because pain is an ever-present problem in patients with pressure ulcers, venous and arterial ulcers, and even diabetic ulcers, despite sensory issues. How do you, as a health care provider, best protect and defend yourself against a pain and suffering allegation?

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%.

Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine's picture
Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine Journal Review Club

Article Title: Pressure Injury Progression and Factors Associated With Different End-Points in a Home Palliative Care Setting: A Retrospective Chart Review Study
Authors: Artico M, D’Angelo D, Piredda M, et al
Journal: J Pain Symptom Manage 2018;56(1):23-31
Reviewed by: Arden Harada, class of 2021, Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine

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Nancy Munoz's picture
Arginine

by Nancy Munoz, DCN, MHA, RDN, FAND

Pressure injuries (pressure ulcers) claim over 60,000 lives and affect over 2.5 million Americans each year. The US health care system spends $9.1–11.6 billion annually in the treatment of pressure injuries. Aside from the financial cost, pressure injury is a devastating health concern that affects quality of life and well-being.

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Heidi Cross's picture
Unavoidable Pressure Ulcers

By Heidi Cross, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, CWON

"At all times material hereto, defendant failed to develop an adequate care plan and properly monitor and supervise the care and treatment in order to prevent her from suffering the development and deterioration of bed sores."

Heidi Cross's picture
Risk Factors for Unavoidable Ulcers

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

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 17,000 lawsuits related to pressure ulcers (PUs) are filed annually in the United States, second only to wrongful death lawsuits. One of the greatest gifts to defense attorneys was when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published F-Tag 314, finally acknowledging that some ulcers can occur despite best care. The facility essentially can maintain, “Hey, we did everything we were supposed to, and despite that, the patient developed that pressure ulcer”—that is, the ulcer was unavoidable. To prove unavoidability, proper documentation (proof) of best care needs to be in place, as well as documentation that all proper prevention and treatment measures were implemented.