Waterlow Essay

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The attention will now shift to one of the individual aspects that make up the initial assessment. The Waterlow assessment was created by Judy Waterlow (1985), it is a tool created to assist health practitioners to assess whether a patient is at risk of developing pressure ulcers, it is by far the most frequently used assessment tool in the UK (Judy-waterlow.co.uk 2007). The Waterlow is applicable to Mr Adams due to his immobility status, as stated by Lareau and Sawyer (2010) if a patient is restricted to bed rest as part of the management for a hip fracture they are at higher risk of further complications due to immobilisation, these complications include pressure sores. The Waterlow assessment tool comprises of two parts, the first is a scoring system with a guide to a patient’s risk status based on the level they score, the three status’s are ‘at risk’, ‘high risk’ and ‘very high risk’. The second part is a guide for the nursing care required according to the patient’s status. It also has guidelines to wound classification, providing a description of the different grades of ulcer. The scoring system consists of areas that are all deemed to be factors that may contribute towards a patient’s risk of developing pressure ulcers. These include a patient’s build, tissue viability, sex, nutritional status, continence, mobility and other special risks such as co-morbidities and medications. The theory is, the higher the patient scores within each area and overall the higher the patient is at risk of obtaining pressure ulcers (Judy-waterlow.co.uk 2007). The tool’s ease of use meant assessing Mr Adams’s Waterlow score was straightforward; however as Judy (1985) states due to its simplicity professional judgement should also be used to determine a patient risk status. This includes extrinsic factors that are not listed in the tool, for example the length of time an individual stays in one position for and whether or not they are able to reposition themselves and...
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