Pressure Ulcer Protocol in Hospital Settings

Personal Interest

Pressure ulcers (PUs) are one of the most pervasive disorders among elderly patients in hospital settings. PUs significantly reduce patients’ quality of life: not only do they have to deal with painful sensations, but they also face psychological challenges. Moreover, PUs have many complications, one of the most common of which is sepsis. A recent study showed that PUs could even put elderly patients at risk of premature death (Khor et al., 2014).

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When researching the subject matter, I was appalled at the gravity of the issue and how much unnecessary suffering PUs cause. Later, I learned that around 85% of the cases are preventable, but many hospitals do not do enough to spot patients at risk timely (Khor et al., 2014). I am sure that modern medicine offers a variety of prevention tools, such as pressure ulcer protocols, whose efficiency, however, should be further studied and compared.

Topic Relevance

Nowadays, due to medical advancements, life expectancy in developed countries has risen substantially. Age-related conditions such as pressure ulcers make up a significant part of the national burden of disease. According to recent statistics, the prevalence of PU in elderly patients in Europe, the US, and Canada amount to 26% (Khor et al., 2014). de Brito Vieira, Sá, de Araújo Madeira, and Luz (2014) state that old age predisposes a person to suffer from pressure ulcers. Over time, the skin loses its elasticity and receives less blood supply. Decreased skin turgor is associated with vulnerability to pressure ulcers, and age-related lack of mobility increases the risk further. Due to its pervasiveness and demographic tendencies, the subject matter is relevant to the nursing field.

Intended Goals

The purpose of the research paper is to check the validity of the PU protocol method as a preventive measure. My intended goal is to prove that pressure ulcers can be prevented through an early risk assessment. I agree with Coleman et al. (2014) that state that in general, there is a lack of consensus as to what steps a nurse needs to take in order to evaluate a patient and determine his or her vulnerability. In their study, the researchers give general recommendations as to what the pressure ulcer protocol needs to entail: immobility, skin status and moisture, nutrition, diabetes, and sensory perception evaluation (Coleman et al., 2014).

By exploring the problem and drawing on several relevant sources, I might be able to come with a framework for the pressure ulcer protocol. I would like to make documentation as detailed as possible to ensure that not a single factor is neglected. In the long perspective, I envision myself invoking a change and contributing to nurses’ knowledge about pressure ulcers by offering evidence-based facts. The stated goals are realistic since my methods will be supported by an ample body of research.

Problem Statement

The problem statement is to prove the efficiency of the pressure ulcer protocol on day 3 of admission to the emergency department in preventing pressure ulcers in high-risk patients. Elderly patients susceptible to developing pressure ulcers are expected to benefit from a solution to this problem. Their physical health will be improved, and the ongoing support and evaluation will help them maintain emotional stability and well-being. The solution might be especially advantageous for patients with such predisposing conditions as diabetes and obesity. Their quality of life is already affected negatively, and it is critical that nurses prevent their situation from aggravating.

References

Coleman, S., Nelson, E. A., Keen, J., Wilson, L., McGinnis, E., Dealey, C.,… Schols, J. M. (2014). Developing a pressure ulcer risk factor minimum data set and risk assessment framework. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 70(10), 2339-2352.

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de Brito Vieira, C. P., Sá, M.S., de Araújo Madeira, M. Z., & Luz, M. H. B. A. (2014). Characterization and risk factors for pressure ulcers in the hospitalized elderly. Revista da Rede de Enfermagem do Nordeste, 15(4), 650-658.

Khor, H. M., Tan, J., Saedon, N. I., Kamaruzzaman, S. B., Chin, A. V., Poi, P. J., & Tan, M. P. (2014). Determinants of mortality among older adults with pressure ulcers. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 59(3), 536-541.

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