Reflective accounts

Pressure ulcers

A CPD article improved Deborah O’Byrne’s knowledge of skin assessment and pressure ulcer prevention in older people

A CPD article improved Deborah O’Byrne’s knowledge of skin assessment and pressure ulcer prevention in older people.

Abstract

My nursing experience is in acute care. Acute medical nurses are well placed to assess skin integrity, identify patients at risk of pressure ulcer development, and commence appropriate interventions to prevent or treat pressure ulcers.

The article on pressure ulcer prevention, discussed the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that can cause pressure ulcers in older people. Intrinsic factors include reduced mobility, incontinence and inadequate nutrition, whereas extrinsic factors include pressure, shearing force and friction. I am now well aware that the decrease in sebum secretion in older adults’ skin can increase the risk of developing a pressure ulcer.

I was interested to read that most pressure ulcers experienced by older adults are preventable. The acute medical environments where I have worked have used the SSKIN (Surface, Skin inspection, Keep your patients moving, Incontinence/moisture, Nutrition/hydration) care bundle to provide standardised care to prevent pressure ulcers in at-risk individuals. The SSKIN care bundle emphasises the need to assess and review an at-risk patient’s skin integrity regularly. For example, a brief skin assessment may be performed whenever a patient is repositioned.

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This reflective account is based on NS824 Barry M, Nugent L (2015) Pressure ulcer prevention in frail older people. Nursing Standard. 30, 16-18, 50-58.

 

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