Pressure Ulcers Treatment: Cultural and Ethical Views

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Pressure ulcers affect millions of people across the world every year, especially in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities. These sores bring pain, the danger of severe infection, and overall reduced life quality. Prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers are challenging due to the presence of ethical obstacles and cultural diversity that needs to be considered when taking care of patients. It is important to note that healthcare professionals are responsible for safeguarding patients from developing bedsores and incorporating their cultural values and norms into their treatment.

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The paper will address the cultural and ethical views that relate to the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers. The level one question for the ethical perspective is about ethical challenges that influence the manner in which the medical community addresses the issue. Level two question for the ethical perspective is about laws that govern the prevention of pressure ulcers. The level one question on cultural perspective is about the cultures or societies that are most affected by pressure ulcers. The level two question on cultural perspective is about the cultural traditions that affect the treatment of pressure ulcers.

The Ethical Perspective

What Ethical Challenges Influence the Manner in Which the Medical Community Addresses the Issue?

Prevention and management of pressure ulcers is a critical issue in hospitals because many patients end up with problems during their stay in the treatment facility. Some challenges include poor understanding of the stages of the disease, inappropriate interagency collaboration, inadequate training, and lack of appropriate equipment to manage and prevent the problem. Many health facilities provide guidelines for interventions such as maintaining cleanness, proper body hygiene, creating awareness and utilizing evidence-based methods to manage pressure ulcers (Brown, 2019). Health workers are encouraged to wear protective clothing and other equipment to prevent spreading infections. One of the ethical issues surrounding the prevention and management of pressure ulcers is accountability. The nurses or health care professionals can be blamed for negligence because many believe it is their duty to ensure patients remain free from the disease. However, the healthcare professionals can blame the patients by citing that everyone has a responsibility to take care of their health condition. All healthcare professionals are responsible for establishing strategic methods to ensure there are financial and administrative resources to oversee procedures that have been developed to control and prevent pressure ulcers.

Ethics is mostly viewed as the philosophical knowledge or perception of what is wrong and right in addition to human action consequences. However, what one individual considers right may be considered wrong by another individual. Nurses and other healthcare professionals may fail to recognize their role in taking of patients with pressure ulcers. The ethical challenges can arise in policies and perspectives on the practice of procedures that have been set as guidelines to handle the problem. While clinicians can refer to ethical theories as useful frameworks for addressing the issue, the concepts are simple and highly general and may not provide an appropriate solution (Lindhardt et al., 2020). When healthcare professionals use collective and generalized approaches to handle pressure ulcers, many members of the vulnerable population end up being disadvantaged. Additionally, factors such as inadequate staffing, lack enough of equipment to deal with pressure ulcers, and poor nutrition discourage the provision of standard care and prevention of pressure ulcers. Healthcare professionals should be responsible for ensuring there are appropriate conditions and responsible actions to prevent and control pressure ulcers in order to foster quality patient outcomes.

What Laws Govern the Prevention of Pressure Ulcers?

Prevention of pressure ulcers is the responsibility of all health facilities, nursing homes, and health care staff who interact with those with a high risk of developing the problems. There are several federal laws and directives that make it the responsibility of health facilities to do everything in their power to take care of patients. When a facility or a healthcare staff member violates a regulation of elderly care and shows negligence that leads to the development of bedsores, that party can be held liable for the damages caused to the victim. The Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act of 2017 is one of the laws that can assist in the prevention of pressure ulcers (Lavallée et al., 2019). It was enacted to safeguard the elderly mistreatment and negligence through the improvement of the response of the justice system to such issues. The law can help improve the actions of healthcare facilities in the prevention of bedsores by holding them liable for the negligence and abuse of the elderly.

Since pressure ulcers are highly prevalent in individuals in nursing homes, the Nursing Home Reform Act is crucial because it provides a bill of rights to the residents. The law gives rights to the residents of a nursing home to enjoy a dignified existence, access full information about their care, and raise complaints without worries of retaliation from the authorities. This Act assists in the prevention of bedsores by allowing the elderly to control what happens to them in regard to their care. The other two laws that are crucial in helping the elderly get standard care in healthcare facilities are the elder justice Act of 2009 and Section 3058i of Title 42 (Lavallée et al., 2019). Both laws help educate the public, the elderly, and healthcare staff about the need to take care of others and refrain from neglect of duty and abuse. Further, the two laws help strengthen the existing programs that provide funds to help in the fight against neglect and abuse of the vulnerable population.

Generally, the tort law provides guidelines for showing responsibility towards other human beings. Tort refers to a civil wrong activity against another individual and enables the pursuance of a civil action to financially compensate and an individual who suffered damage. Proof of negligence is one of the crucial torts that can allow patients to hold nurses and healthcare institutions accountable for compensation (Brown, 2019). While the tort law is common in the United Kingdom, it is also functional in the United States in different states, including Texas.

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The Cultural Perspective

Which Cultures or Societies are Most Affected by Pressure Ulcers?

While pressure ulcers are likely to occur in the elderly and those with underlying conditions, the number of death and re-occurrence is more pronounced in some societies than in others. Generally, African Americans have a higher mortality risk compared to other ethnicities. Additionally, African Americans are likely to experience more severe stage 3 and stage 4 compared to whites. Bliss et al. (2019) found that African Americans had more likelihood of having recurrent pressure ulcers even after treatment compared to whites. Examination of socio-economic status indicated that the increased mortality rate and recurrence are attributed to low income, type of occupation, and education which translate to low-quality health care. African Americans tend to experience poverty during all age levels due to less education and lower-income (Anthony et al., 2019). This leads to difficulties in accessing quality healthcare resulting in inequality in health outcomes for different ethnic groups.

How Can Cultural Traditions Affect the Treatment of Pressure Ulcers?

The cultural or spiritual well-being of an individual is very crucial in making choices regarding the management of pressure ulcers. Different cultures perceive wounds or sores differently and have expectations concerning the healing process. Individual perspectives about healing are tied to beliefs, degree of health knowledge, and literacy skills. Such beliefs about wound healing may be transferred from one generation to another, making it difficult to change them, which results in conflict with healthcare professionals and failure to accept proper treatments. Clinicians should strive to understand different cultures and individuals’ beliefs, cultural origin, and religious values and involve patients’ decisions in their directives. Some considerations involve seeking the permission of the patient before using treatments that contain animal products (Sharp et al., 2019). Some religious beliefs may dictate that it is taboo to apply a certain animal’s product to the body because the animal is considered unclean as per the religion. Other considerations include helping the patient understand that some beliefs are detrimental to their treatment and informing them that it is their right to refuse or ask for alternative treatment.


Pressure ulcers affect millions of people across the world every year, bringing pain and causing discomfort in their life. The ethical obstacles for the healthcare community involve a lack of acknowledgment of their role in the treatment and prevention of the issue. Many healthcare workers do not understand that they have a moral, legal and ethical responsibility to take care of patients. Treatment options should be designed with consideration of patients cultural and religious beliefs to avoid conflict in the implementation of different procedures. There are different legal requirements that make it mandatory for healthcare professionals to take care of patients with their families by avoiding negligence and abuse.


Anthony, D., Alosoumi, D., & Safari, R. (2019). Prevalence of pressure ulcers in long-term care: A global review. Journal of Wound Care, 28(11), 702-709. Web.

Bliss, D. Z., Gurvich, O., Savik, K., Eberly, L. E., Harms, S., Mueller, C., & Wiltzen, K. (2017). Racial and ethnic disparities in the healing of pressure ulcers present at nursing home admission. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 72, 187-194. Web.

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Brown, A. (2019). Legal implications of pressure injuries: Experience of a tissue viability nurse expert. Nursing Standard (Royal College of Nursing (Great Britain):1987). Web.

Lavallée, J. F., Gray, T. A., Dumville, J., & Cullum, N. (2019). Preventing pressure ulcers in nursing homes using a care bundle: A feasibility study. Health & Social Care in the Community, 27(4), e417-e427. Web.

Lindhardt, C. L., Beck, S. H., & Ryg, J. (2020). Nursing care for older patients with pressure ulcers: A qualitative study. Nursing Open, 7(4), 1020-1025. Web.

Sharp, C. A., Moore, J. S. S., & McLaws, M. L. (2019). Two-hourly repositioning for prevention of pressure ulcers in the elderly: Patient safety or elder abuse? Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 16(1), 17-34. Web.

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NursingBird. (2022, July 29). Pressure Ulcers Treatment: Cultural and Ethical Views. Retrieved from


NursingBird. (2022, July 29). Pressure Ulcers Treatment: Cultural and Ethical Views.

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"Pressure Ulcers Treatment: Cultural and Ethical Views." NursingBird, 29 July 2022,


NursingBird. (2022) 'Pressure Ulcers Treatment: Cultural and Ethical Views'. 29 July.


NursingBird. 2022. "Pressure Ulcers Treatment: Cultural and Ethical Views." July 29, 2022.

1. NursingBird. "Pressure Ulcers Treatment: Cultural and Ethical Views." July 29, 2022.


NursingBird. "Pressure Ulcers Treatment: Cultural and Ethical Views." July 29, 2022.