Topic Progress:

Prevention of Pressure Ulcers/Injuries

Prevention should be key, and successful prevention requires a comprehensive approach. Prevention of pressure damage depends upon the identification of and reduction of risk factors.

To prevent pressure ulcer/injury development, patients must be assessed to determine their risk of a pressure ulcer/injury occurring. Assessment forms are an important part of the holistic management and prevention of pressure ulceration.

Pressure ulcer/injury risk assessment is enforced within care settings by a pressure ulcer/injury prevention policy. Clinical guidelines and policies are in place to protect both the patient and the health care professional and are designed to ensure that the health care professional is aware of the responsibilities of care.

NICE (2014, 2015) recommends that clinicians carry out and document an assessment of pressure ulcer/injury risk for adults being admitted to secondary care or care homes in which care is provided. Also, when receiving care in other settings, such as primary and community care and emergency departments, if they have a risk factor, for example:

  • Significantly limited mobility (e.g. people with a spinal cord injury)
  • Significant loss of sensation
  • A previous or current pressure ulcer/injury
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • The inability to reposition themselves
  • Significant cognitive impairment

Prevention of pressure ulcers/injuries will be covered in greater detail later in this course.