Top ten tips for pressure ulcer prevention

17/11/2015 11:53:52

We look at how to prevent pressure ulcers in this latest blog post...

Pressure ulcers aren’t inevitable – they can be avoided. Marie Wilson writing for Wounds UK offers a top ten tip list for pressure ulcer prevention: 
1. Risk assessment – Tools such as the Waterlow and Braden scales are vital for Tissue Viability Nurses (TVNs) to identify the severity of the pressure ulcer
2. Skin inspection – A visual inspection of the patient’s skin will show quickly if it is too dry, damaged etc. and whether the patient is more at risk of developing a pressure ulcer
3. Skin care – Patting the skin dry is less damaging than rubbing the affected area; emollient creams can also help to protect the surface
4. Moisture – Excess moisture, such as sweating can damage the skin. Ensuring a good microclimate around the skin surface will help to maintain moisture levels
5. Incontinence – A condition that often leads to pressure ulcers. Skin needs to be protected from moisture and bacteria damage
6. Nutrition – Poor diet can exacerbate pressure ulcers and the healing process, so it’s essential the patient eats well
7. Position / Mobility – The positions that a patient sits / lays will have an impact on the development of pressure ulcers as they develop over bony prominences
8. Ergonomics –This means ensuring that the patient’s equipment and surroundings are not contributing to the possibility of them developing a pressure ulcer; e.g. appropriate seating and mattress systems
9. Repositioning – Essential for relieving pressure, the patient should be encouraged or aided to reposition themselves regularly to prevent pressure ulcers occurring
10. Pressure redistribution equipment – The main aims are to redistribute pressure and to provide comfort. Types of support surfaces include reactive and non-powered hybrid systems
Polyurethane-coated fabrics such as Dartex are stretchy and breathable; great for pressure redistribution and supporting vulnerable skin contact areas.
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