Pressure Ulcer Prevention
Pressure Ulcer Prevention
Pressure ulcer development has become an indicator of the quality of nursing care. Since July 2012 all NHS organisations were expected to collect data of patient harms, including pressure ulcer prevalence, using the NHS Safety Thermometer (The NHS Information Centre, 2012).
In 2012 the Department of Health set targets of eliminating all avoidable pressure ulcers in 95% of patients through Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QUIP). Protection of the individual patient from pressure damage is a fundamental aspect of nursing care (Wounds UK, 2013). All patients should have a pressure ulcer risk assessment undertaken within six hours of being admitted to an acute setting or on the first home visit (NICE, 2005). (NICE, 2014) recommends that clinicians carry out and document an assessment of pressure ulcer risk for adults.
STAGES IN THE WOUND INFECTION CONTINUUM
Wound contamination is the presence of non-proliferating microbes within a wound at a level that does not evoke a host response.
Colonisation refers to the presence within the wound of microbial organisms that undergo limited proliferation without evoking a host reaction.
Wound infection occurs when bacteria or other microbes move deeper into the wound tissue and proliferate at a rate that invokes a response in the host.
Spreading infection describes the invasion of the surrounding tissue by infective organisms that have spread from a wound.
risk of infection
There are several factors that can increase an individual’s susceptibility to infection.
- Diabetes (poorly controlled)
- Hypoxia/poor tissue perfusion e.g. anaemia, cardiac/respiratory disease, arterial/vascular disease, renal impairment, rheumatoid arthritis, shock
- Immune deficiency/immunosuppressant drugs
- Smoking, alcohol, drug use
- Recent/prior surgery
- Inappropriate use of prophylactic antibiotics
The ActivHeal Academy covers multiple wound care topics including dressing selection and wound assessment. The Academy has over twenty hours of wound care education to support your Continuing Professional Development, including our Tissue Viability Society endorsed higher tier modules.
- NICE 2005 and NATVS 2014. NHS Information Centre. (2012) Safety thermometer. Available at: http://www.ic.nhs.uk/services/nhs-safetythermometer
- Wounds UK (2013) Best practice statement: Eliminating pressure ulcers
- Pressure Ulcer Programme. 2012. NICE (2014) Pressure Ulcers: Prevention and Management of Pressure Ulcers. London. NICE
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