Red bands on plaster casts help nurses prevent pressure ulcers

Nurses' novel plan eliminates one trust's device-related pressure ulcers


A group of nurses have come up with an innovative idea that could stop patients developing pressure ulcers caused by plaster casts.

Warrington and Halton Hospitals nurses Rachael Browning, Grace Delaney-Segar, Heather Aston and Xiurong Deng with a red banded plaster cast

Staff at Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust decided to put a red band around the cast or splint of patients at risk of developing a pressure ulcer to highlight that additional care is needed.

Healthcare workers are now given extra training to prevent pressure ulcer formation by making sure at-risk patients are repositioned frequently and encouraging them to be mobile and relieve pressure on the cast.

The nurses decided they needed to find a solution after six severe cases of pressure ulcers related to devices such as plaster casts in 2014-15.

There have been no device-related pressure ulcers since the idea was introduced in June last year.

Staff are now sharing their idea with other NHS organisations.

Rachael Browning, associate director of nursing for scheduled care at the trust, said: ‘By clearly highlighting the patients at high risk we have seen this fantastic reduction in cast-related pressure ulcers.

‘We have seen a really positive result from this initiative in the hospital and we are hoping to cascade the learning and the red striped cast into the community. That’s great for patients and staff alike.’

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