Simple interventions can prevent pressure ulcers and reduce morbidity.
Estimates on the prevalence of pressure ulcers vary; among elderly patients seen by a general practitioner in the UK, an overall incidence rate of 0.58 ulcers per 100 person-years has been reported. Rates were considerably higher in people over age 85 1.
A guide to standards for best practice in the care of pressure ulcers and a tool for educating and stimulating teams towards improving care are incorporated into the Best Practice Statement - Prevention and management of pressure ulcers from Healthcare Improvement Scotland. It provides a starting point for analysing current practice and basis for improvement.
Interventions for preventing pressure ulcers in both primary and secondary care and management of both ulcers and their complications are provided in the NICE guidelines for pressure ulcer management in primary and secondary care. The full guideline includes an analysis of the current evidence base for pressure ulcer management and prevention.
Six interventions for preventing pressure ulcers and tools to create successful prevention strategies using these interventions are published in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's How-to guide: prevent pressure ulcers. It also provides a step-by-step guide to implementing prevention strategies using tools and methods based on the Model for Improvement.
- The Incidence and Prevalence of Pressure Ulcers among Elderly Patients in General Medical Practice, Margolis D, Bilker W, Knauss J, Baumgarten M, Annals of Epidemiology 12(5) 321-325