Topic Progress:

Prevention of Device-Related Pressure Damage

Regular assessment of the skin allows prompt detection of pressure-related injury. By identifying risks early, strategies to redistribute pressure can be implemented.

  • Frequently inspect the skin beneath adjustable medical devices and continue to lift and/or adjust or remove the medical device for pressure relief where possible.
  • Consider the use of dressings that redistribute pressure and shear for body areas in contact with medical devices to reduce the impact on affected body areas.
  • Use of thin hydrocolloids, film dressings or barrier products underneath the device to reduce moisture, friction and shear (Boesch et al., 2012; EUPAP, 2019; Gefen et al., 2022)
  • Continue to lift and/or move the medical device to examine the skin beneath it and reposition.
  • For pressure relief, be sure devices are applied/fixated appropriately.
  • Provide basic skin care: keep skin clean, dry and well-hydrated.
  • Reposition devices (if feasible).
  • Avoid placement of device(s) over sites of prior or existing pressure injury OR directly under an individual.
  • Educate staff on correct use of devices and prevention of skin breakdown.
  • Be aware of oedema under device(s) and potential for skin breakdown.

(Wounds UK, 2014; NPIAP, 2020)