Pressure injuries have many names and forms. Bedsores, pressure damage, pressure ulcers, decubitus ulcers, to name a few. But what are they, exactly?
The European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (EPUAP), defines a pressure ulcer as “localised damage to the skin and underlying tissue caused by pressure, shear, friction or a combination of all of these.”
Experts tell us that between 4-10% of patients admitted to hospital develop a pressure ulcer during their stay. Worryingly, once a patient gets an ulcer, it can often lead to a reduced quality of life and in worst cases, morbidity.
Pressure ulcers are expensive for hospitals to treat. A study completed in 2004 suggests that the cost of treating ulcers varies from £1,064 for a grade I, to £10,551 for a grade IV ulcer. Indeed the total costs in the UK to treat ulcers are between £1.4 – £2.1 billion. This is around 4% of the NHS total expenditure.
The places where people are most likely to get pressure ulcers are over bony prominences such as the sacrum, buttocks, hips, and heels. There are six stages of ulcers classified by the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP). These include Stages 1 through 4, then Suspected Deep Tissue Injury (DTI) and Unstageable.
There are a few basic nursing interventions that can reduce incidence of pressure ulcers. Turning the patient every two hours and placing soft cushioning between bony prominences such as ankles, wrists and other bony areas will help. Keeping the skin dry and moisture-free, whilst inspecting the skin daily is also advised.
Areas of redness and warmth are early warning signs of pressure sore formation. Stage two signs include the appearance of craters and blisters. It is important that if someone has these signs, they do not lay or sit on the affected area until the symptoms disappear.
This is where Rober’s ‘zero pressure’ technology can help. Our pressure ulcer prevention mattresses respond to a patient’s weight, movements and body position. They provide enhanced comfort whilst the wave/ripple effect allows even body weight distribution. The aim is to offer a comfortable yet stable surface that does not compromise clinical outcomes.
Pressure ulcer prevention specialist, Rober offers a new generation of fully automatic mattresses; NoDec™ and AirFlex, designed and manufactured in the UK. Rober has used its experience in pressure ulcer prevention to ensure that there is a mattress solution for every situation and every patient. Importantly, Rober’s mattresses can be used as a therapeutic solution to heal advanced bedsores. Patients nursed upon them require less manual repositioning, providing welcome relief to overstretched care-givers.
Rober recognises the need to provide support and guidance for caregivers, so is always on hand to play its part in delivering the best solution for patients. Mike Hutson, Rober’s CEO tells us; “It all starts with an understanding of pressure ulcers, how they form and how to avoid them. We know our mattress solutions contribute to avoiding the problems of pressure ulcers. We’re always delighted to share our experience and play our part in helping healthcare providers and caregivers look after their patients as well as possible.”
Contact Rober here.