Posts Tagged ‘Presure Relief’

What factors do you face when it comes to ensuring adequate support for your patients?

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Wound development has many different etiologies. Diabetes, arteriosclerosis, venous insufficiency, trauma and a host of others come to mind. Treatment of these wounds may be similar in approach and others may be completely different. One thing that is common in treatment of wounds is adequate support for the underlying structures near and under the wounds. Sometimes this step and consideration is ignored or overlooked all together.

Roho Cushion

Roho Cushion

There are many different types of support surfaces to consider. There are mattresses and beds as well as support cushions, positioning devices, orthotics and specialty shoes that help offload pressure from areas that experience pressure or friction. Here is a a little refresher article on support surfaces.

The following is quoted from that article. “An important part of the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers is placing people on an appropriate support surface. Choosing the appropriate support surface is not an easy task as there is no standard criteria to evaluate support surfaces. Therefore, it is important to assess the performance of each type of support surface accurately, identify individual patient needs and then select the most appropriate option based on a well-informed, educated approach.”-WCIN .

Ortho Wedge Cushion

Ortho Wedge Cushion

Although this is true, it lends some discussion as to how we as wound care certified professionals consider this in our approach to relieving pressure. There are so many variables that go into the decision making process that the decision itself is often delayed due to the variables. Costs, availability, compliance, resources are all variables that effect the bottom line, which is to prevent or help heal the wounds!

Aircell XL

Aircell XL

So how do you approach pressure relief in your day to day practice? In long term care, do you have pressure relieving mattresses or alternating pressure mattresses? Are you turning Q2 hrs? Is that the extent of the pressure relief that you afford? How strong is your assessment of the patient’s need for pressure relief when they have an appointment in the outpatient clinics? Are you certain the patient has some sort of support surface? What factors do you face when it comes to ensuring adequate support for your patients?

For more information about becoming Wound Care Certified and our Skin and Wound Management Course, please visit WCEI’s registration page