This week (November 17th) sees worldwide Stop Pressure Ulcer Day 2016. In the UK Pressure ulcer treatment can cost between £1.4–£2.1 billion each year and there are approximately 180,000 pressure ulcers developing each year in the NHS.
Pressure ulcers don’t just pose a serious risk to health, but they are time consuming and costly burden to care homes around the world. With the population ageing, this cost will only rise over time. This scenario is made worse by the fact that the majority of pressure ulcers are preventable and a range of pressure relief devices are available to help prevent them occurring.
Change Mobility want to raise awareness of the effective pressure relief solutions that we have to offer which relieve the cost burden and make life easier for patients and those in your care.
Who is at Risk From Pressure Ulcers?
There are a number of groups of people at risk of being susceptible to pressure sores and pressure ulcers. The people who stand to benefit from pressure relief accessories include:
The elderly (specifically those over 65)
Individuals with limited mobility or who participate in minimal physical activity
Postoperative patients or individuals confined to a bed for a long period of time
Individuals with sensory impairment
Sufferers of obesity
Those with a history of pressure ulceration
Those with incontinence or other ailments that increase skin moisture
Individuals with poor circulation levels due to oedema, vascular problems or diabetes
Individuals with malnutrition/dehydration
Individuals who require oxygen use, sedatives, dopamine or postoperative steroid therapy
Extrinsic factors should also be taken into account such as friction, shearing, moisture to the skin and various medications. In detecting the early signs of pressure sores, carers should observe any changes in the condition of a patient’s skin and be wary of increased body temperature. Those caring for patients need to be made aware of what the potential signs of pressure sores are, in order to take steps to resolve the issue.
Pressure Relief Prevention
Care plans need to be put in place for those groups who are at risk of pressure ulceration. There are a number of methods that carers can try to prevent pressure ulcers developing. Changing a patient’s position in bed regularly; limiting chair sitting to 2 hours maximum for high risk patients and ensuring a patient is cleaned and moisturised following periods of incontinence.
The majority of pressure ulcers are preventable but in some circumstances it isn’t possible to prevent pressure ulcers developing, this is when extra measures should be taken.
Pressure sores must be dressed appropriately according to individual clinical requirements. Pressure relief products are effective both in prevention and treatment of pressure sores. It is vital carers assess whether or not the mattress or cushion is intact and fit for use – for example air mattresses need to be fully inflated. The right type of product (active or static) needs to be right for a patient’s needs.
Pressure Relief Devices That Are Available
Change Mobility stocks a wide range of pressure relief products, designed to suit patients of all risks and various degrees of severity of condition. It is intrinsic that patients have the pressure devices designed for their specific requirements so they receive the optimum quality of care and treatment. Some of our pressure relief devices include:
– Pressure Relief Mattresses – these are designed for those who are confined to their beds in order to prevent pressure sores forming which can over time lead to complications with serious repercussions such as blood poisoning. Active pressure relief means that pressure is handled effectively and as well as easing pain it puts the patient in a more comfortable situation.
– Pressure Relief Cushions – if a patient is spending a lot of the time sat down, but they are not bed ridden then pressure relief cushions can help reduce the risk of any complications or any problems that may arise from excessive pressure
– Pressure relief accessories – for those who have their mobility but can still be a little frail there are a range of options available such as elbow cushions; medical fleeces and HIPs protectors which relieve pressure and also aim to minimise damage from falls.