Posts Tagged ‘Prevention’

Prevention, Prevention, Prevention

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
Turning and Repositioning

Turning and Repositioning

To most of us in the Health Care industry, nursing in particular, it is obvious that the best ways to heal wounds is to prevent them in the first place. Sometimes however, that is not so obvious to members of the health care team that care for our patients both young and old and in-between. There are many reasons that can be attributed to that ignorance but that is not the reason for this post. That ignorance can be addressed through further education.

Lets discuss prevention of ulcers and wounds. Assessment of our patients needs is one way to initiate preventative measures. I was reading an article and commentary on Catherine Ratliff, Ph.D., from a meeting at the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel in Arlington, VA

She recommended that caregivers assess four factors to determine an individual’s risk for heel pressure ulcers: age older than 70 years, diagnosis of diabetes, decreased mental status, and lack of movement in the legs and feet. Also, consider whether individuals are ambulatory, walk with assistance, or are confined to bed, she said.

Caregivers should take some precautions to prevent heel pressure ulcers even in individuals who are at low risk, Dr. Ratliff said. Check the circulation in the affected area, check whether the skin is warm or cool to the touch, examine the feet for redness, and apply moisturizer to the heels. Encourage individuals to get out of bed at least three times a day if possible. If that doesn’t happen, consider a pressure-redistributing mattress.

Individuals who are at higher risk, or those who already have a heel pressure ulcer, require stricter interventions, she said. Assess the patient and apply moisturizers more often, work hard to get the individual mobile, and perhaps use devices that take pressure off the heels.

You can read the rest of the article here .

What else can we do to assist preventing wounds from developing on our patients? As Wound Care Certified professionals, we can educate the public before and after they become our patients. Writing articles and submitting them to the web via blogs, making videos that speaks to our knowledge about prevention of wounds is an area that we can improve upon. Diabetic screening and education can be another example of how we can possible prevent development of ulcerations. For example we could do more foot examinations as part of a community outreach. All individuals with diabetes should receive an annual foot examination to identify high-risk foot conditions. This examination should include assessment of protective sensation, foot structure and biomechanics, vascular status, and skin integrity. People with one or more high-risk foot conditions should be evaluated more frequently for the development of additional risk factors. People with neuropathy should have a visual inspection of their feet at every visit with a health care professional.

Skin and Wound Manual

Skin and Wound Manual

A great resource for any Wound Care or Health Care Provider is the Skin and Wound Resource Manual Use the resources that are available to you. Teach the people you care for to take care of themselves before and when they develop wounds. Prevention of the wound prior to it develops is the best way to heal it!

For more information about becoming Wound Care Certified, please visit http://www.wcei.net