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.
Bedridden and wheelchair-bound patients may benefit from nutrition therapy to promote pressure ulcer healing.
Pressure ulcers are an issue of great concern among people who undergo long-term stays in clinical settings. These painful complications, which can become deadly in the case of wound infections, affect about 2.5 million patients every year and cost as much as $11.6 billion in health care costs annually, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
That’s why researchers are continually seeking out new and innovative methods for helping people more quickly and safely recover from these localized injuries, and now researchers from Italy have discovered a relatively simple way to enhance wound healing in pressure ulcers: nutrition therapy.
The Chino Valley Medical Center now requires some patients to wear devices that reduce the prevalence of pressure ulcers.
Pressure ulcers – broken down skin caused by continuous pressure or rubbing – are extremely painful and can be dangerous to patient health, even resulting in death without proper wound care. They also have great financial damages; the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reported that pressure ulcers cost between $9.1 and $11.6 billion every year, and each one adds on average more than $43,000 to the expense of a hospital stay. To address this issue, one California hospital has begun requiring that certain long-term care patients use a monitoring device to reduce risk of these wounds.
Intact eschar on the heels should not be removed.
Current standard of care guidelines recommend that stable intact (dry, adherent, intact without erythema or fluctuance) eschar on the heels should not be removed. Blood flow in the tissue under the eschar is poor and the wound is susceptible to infection. The eschar acts as a natural barrier to infection by keeping the bacteria from entering the wound.
Examining your skin while receiving wound care is a beneficial way to prevent pressure ulcers.
A breakdown of skin that is a relatively common side effect for those facing extended periods of immobility, pressure ulcers are a highly unpleasant reaction that is often a component to the wound care process. Whether it’s staying in a hospital bed after surgery or spending weeks in a wheelchair with a broken leg, pressure ulcers thrive when someone’s mobility is limited. This is due to the constant force against the skin that dramatically reduces blood flow resulting in underlying skin tissue damage. Pressure ulcers are usually discovered in adults, but a study focusing on how an unusual number of these bedsores spotted on children could indicate faulty medical devices in children’s hospitals.