The day to remember in older people's care

With all the celebratory days, pressure injury prevention day is one worthy of a calendar note

With all the commemorative days in the calendar, pressure injury prevention day is one nurses will want to remember

Early skin inspection means early detection of pressure ulcers. Picture: Tim George

When Ray Davies, lead singer of The Kinks, wrote Days he couldn’t have known that the calendar would become congested with celebratory and commemorative days. In 1968, the year the song was released, there were just a handful: Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas Day and Easter Sunday, and the bank holidays. However, we can now observe many different days.

Tools to aid pressure ulcer prevention and treatment exist such as SSKIN, which involves five simple steps:

  • Surface: make sure patients have the right support.
  • Skin inspection: early inspection means early detection.
  • Keep patients moving.
  • Incontinence/moisture: patients should be clean and dry.
  • Nutrition/hydration: help patients eat the right diet and drink plenty of fluids.

Did you know, for example, that 23 February is National Dog Biscuit Day, 8 March is National Pothole Day, 20 March is the International Day of Happiness and 11 April is World Parkinson’s Day? These days may spur us into action in a variety of ways: donating money, signing a petition or pampering our pooches.

Pressure ulcer prevention day

In the care of older people, there is one day that we should all add to the almanac: World Wide Pressure Injury Prevention Day. This event, which is to be celebrated on 15 November, aims to increase national awareness of pressure ulcer prevention and educate the public on this topic.

Almost 25,000 patients annually in the UK develop a new pressure ulcer, and the cost to the NHS of treating pressure ulcers is almost £4 million every day. Have you considered that 95% of pressure ulcers are avoidable?

Marking this day would have multiple benefits, not least for the well-being of individual patients. In the UK further resources, including short instructional videos and educational board games, can be found here.

Thankfully, you won’t need eight days a week to get through the content.

About the authors 

Dion Smyth is a lecturer-practitioner in cancer and palliative care at Birmingham City University and Pat Davies is a senior lecturer at Birmingham City University

This article is for subscribers only