ACP Releases New Recommendations for Pressure Ulcers
The American College of Physicians released new suggestions for pressure ulcer care and prevention for long-term patients.
The medical community continued to become increasingly informed about wound healing and prevention, particularly when it comes to pressure ulcers. These wounds occur when there is a breakdown of the skin caused by pressing or rubbing, typically the effect of immobility and being bedridden. Pressure ulcers are generally slow to heal and have a high risk of wound infection, making prevention and quick treatment very important. For this reason, the American College of Physicians has released updated guidelines for the proper care and prevention techniques for pressure ulcers.
The ACP recommends that clinicians conduct assessments to determine long-term patients that are at higher risk of experiencing pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores. There are many factors that put one at a heightened risk of such wounds, including:
- Old age
- Low body weight
- Hispanic or African-American ethnicity
- Physical or cognitive impairment
- Venous stasis
If it is determined that a patient is at high risk of a pressure ulcer, the clinician should take special precautions, according to the ACP. These include the use of an advanced static mattress, which is made of gel or foam and doesn’t move around beneath the patient, reducing rubbing that can lead to pressure ulcers. An alternative option is an advanced static overlay, which provides the same benefits as an advanced static mattress.
Additionally, the ACP advises against the use of alternating air mattresses and overlays, used to alter support levels. While they have been growing in popularity in clinical settings; however, they have not been proven to effectively prevent bedsores.
Proper treatment guidelines
The ACP made several new recommendations in its new guidelines for wound care of pressure ulcers. One of the main suggestions was the use of hydrocolloid or foam dressings. As clinical evidence showed, hydrocolloid and foam dressings are superior to basic gauze when it comes to expedient and efficient wound size reduction.
As a complement to these advanced dressings, protein and amino acid supplementation were emphasized as useful wound care techniques, promoting. The ACP also suggested that clinicians utilize electrical stimulation as an ancillary therapy in patients with bedsores, as it has been shown to speed up wound healing.
With these new guidelines set forth by the ACP, patients may experience new methods for the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers. Request advanced solutions from your clinician, such as hydrocolloid and foam dressings, to for faster recovery.
Learn more about pressure ulcers in a presentation by Advanced Tissue Clinical Consultant, Carolyn Brown, BS, MEd, RN, ARM, CWS, FACCWS.