Today, 19th November 2020, is International Stop the Pressure Ulcer Day, an annual global event which takes place every third Thursday in November.
The aim of the day is to raise awareness of pressure ulcers and the detrimental impact they have – something many people are touched by every year. The annual event helps increase public and staff knowledge in a bid to prevent pressure ulcers, improve care and reduce harm to patients.
A pressure ulcer is the term for damage to the skin and deeper tissues as a result of prolonged pressure. They can happen to anyone, but most often occur in people who have limited mobility and are confined to bed or spend long periods in a chair or wheelchair. Pressure ulcers are sometimes referred to as ‘pressure sores’ or ‘bed sores’ and the severity of a pressure ulcer can range from reddening of the skin to an open cavity down to muscle or even bone.
At Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, the Tissue Viability team are committed to promoting the importance of pressure ulcer prevention. They have been working with the Trust’s Continuous Improvement team, senior nurses and pressure ulcer prevention champions to raise awareness, educate staff and patients and develop new ways of working.
Tanya O’Brien, Tissue Viability Nurse at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“Pressure ulcers can have long-term effects on patients, ranging from psychological to physical, affecting their daily life. The treatment and prevention of pressure ulcers is vital in our hospitals, as the better we are able to do this, the more comfortable our patients will be during their stay with us.”
The team have recruited tissue viability link nurses, and are hosting ‘Wound Care Wednesdays’ throughout November and December to promote best practice of wound management for clinical staff across the Trust. They are recognising staff who go above and beyond to promote pressure ulcer prevention as ‘Tissue Viability Shining Stars’
The team are also trialling a clinical photography app in collaboration with the Trust’s Medical Illustration team to capture pressure ulcers at the point of care, helping with education and training.
Today, to raise awareness, the team are asking staff to discuss in their teams and with patients the importance of pressure ulcer prevention care and to participate in a quiz.
Elaine Entwistle, Tissue Viability Nurse at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“I am really proud of our team and all of the other teams across the Trust for their dedication to reducing pressure ulcers in our hospitals and improving the quality of care for our patients. We are also working with ten departments and the Continuous Improvement team on a collaborative project to further reduce pressure ulcers, which we are looking forward to giving some further information on very soon!”