Pressure care

prevention is always better than cure

Pressure injuries and their seemingly unstoppable increase in incidence, detrimentally affect the quality of life of thousands of patients, both in the hospital and community setting.  The costs to the NHS of pressure-ulcer-related care in hospitals is estimated to be £1.8–£2.5 billion annually.  Many pressure ulcers that develop could easily be prevented. Consideration and assessment of the patient holistically, followed by appropriate intervention and evaluation, is the key to any prevention strategy.

A patient’s health is top priority, but this can be compromised when the correct equipment is not available to give an appropriate level of care. This situation may lead to an increased hospital stay combined with the ordeal that a pressure ulcer brings into someone’s life.

Efficient and effective pressure injury prevention makes sense both in terms of patient care and comfort as well as the economic consequences of not getting right.  Choosing the right material for your support surface can reduce long term costs of care. This may be through lower pressure ulcer incidence rates and reduced hospital stays. This will mean less of a nurse's time is taken up treating wounds that could be avoided in the first place. The patient’s health can be significantly improved by choosing the correct support surface.

Any equipment should not exacerbate the risk of developing a pressure injury and selecting the correct medical support surface is of paramount importance to ensure that it works effectively with the design & composites of the positioning device. Dartex support surfaces are engineered specifically with pressure care in mind.  The features built into the fabric address the causes of pressure injury development in the following ways:

The fabric surface must provide support with optimal distribution of pressure and fit the contour of the inner composite without surface creasing. Dartex offer a range of stretch fabrics that will fit the contours of both the device and body giving the required level of support.  Dartex fabrics also offer great stretch recovery which will help prevent bagging and will therefore provide a more comfortable and effective support surface for longer.

The support surface should also offer a degree of moisture vapour permeability to ensure that the surface remains dry and comfortable to the touch. Any material next to the skin which interferes with its natural temperature and moisture control can also aggravate the risk to the patient. The support surface should also have sufficient slip, as excess surface friction can add to the risk of patients developing injuries.

A further important consideration is infection control and this should not be compromised.  All Dartex support surfaces are reliably waterproof which can prevent fluid ingress and contamination of the composites.  Furthermore there is the additional benefit of weldable seams which will also act as a barrier to fluid ingress and contamination.  This not only has a benefit in terms of patient safety but will also prolong the life of the finished product.

Finally Dartex support surfaces can be easily cleaned and will withstand the rigours of hospital cleaning and disinfection.

For further information on our full range of fabrics for your specific pressure care needs, please see our products.

 

Useful Links

Dartex launch Endurance Advanced Fabric Technology

Tissue Visability Society 2012 Annual Conference

A comparative Study of Microclimate in Mattresses, EPUAP September 2012