Running head: Procedures and Policies in Preventing Pressure Ulcers
Procedures and Policies in Preventing Pressure Ulcers
Procedures and Policies in Preventing Pressure Ulcers 2
One of the most serious obstacles that long- term care facilities face with their residents is the development of pressure ulcers. Pressure ulcers, or bed sores, occur when pressure is applied to areas of the body causing skin breakdown. “Most pressure ulcers develop over bony prominences, where friction and shearing force combine with pressure to breakdown skin and underlying tissues (Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins, 2010, p. 1).”
Pressure ulcers may occur when great force for a short period or less force over a long period impairs circulation to an area of skin. This process obstructs capillary blood flow which deprives the tissues of oxygen and nutrients. The results are ischemic lesions and tissue necrosis which can lead to serious infection. Common areas that pressure ulcers occur are on the coccyx, sacrum, greater trochanters, vertebrae, scapulae, elbows, knees, and heels. Patients who are bedridden or have impaired mobility are at great risk for pressure ulcer development (Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins, 2010).
Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins (2010) state that the prevention of pressure ulcers includes relieving pressure, improving circulation, and providing adequate nutrition. Prevention also includes managing diseases such as vascular disorders and diabetes. Vascular disorders can impair circulation and uncontrolled diabetes can promote infection. The prevention of pressure ulcers begins with an accurate assessment.
The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (2007) categorizes pressure ulcers into six stages that include: suspected deep tissue injury, stage I, stage II, stage III, stage IV, and unstageable pressure ulcers. Suspected deep tissue injury occurs when underlying...