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Nurse's invention helps with grading of pressure ulcers

New grading wheel ensures patients receive appropriate and swift treatment 

Nurses at a Lincolnshire trust have improved their grading of patients’ pressure ulcers thanks to an innovation developed by one of their colleagues.

From left to right: tissue viability nurses Judith Barnard, Jackie Robinson, and Helen Blagg with the pressure ulcer grading wheel

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust tissue viability nurse Judith Barnard devised a pressure ulcer grading wheel.

One side of the wheel features photos of pressure ulcers, so nurses can see how they differ between grades.

The other side shows images of moisture lesions and deep tissue injuries, as these can be incorrectly identified as pressure ulcers.

NHS trusts are required to report the number of pressure ulcers patients have and their grading from one (superficial) to four (deep).

Ms Barnard said: ‘Our staff need to be able to identify the grade of pressure ulcer a patient has so they can provide the most appropriate treatment and prevent it from worsening.’

Before the wheel's introduction in practice, 20 nurses were tested on grading pressure ulcers with and without it.

They correctly graded 80% of pressure ulcers without the wheel, but had 100% accuracy when it was used.

Staff nurse Deb Goodley said: ‘I have found that using the wheel has made wound assessment much easier and more accurate.’

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