Pressure Ulcers Treatment: Literature Review

Introduction

The problem of pressure ulcers remains one of the most topical issues of modern health care. This health issue can be determined as the emergence of traumas and skin damage in areas affected by continuous pressure (Bhattacharya & Mishra, 2015). Every year 23% of patients with the decreased mobility acquire this disease; their treatment costs about $10 million to the U.S. health system as there is also a significant risk of the development of complications and their negative impact on the health status of patients (Bhattacharya & Mishra, 2015).

In this regard, the introduction of the appropriate solution to eliminate this problem and attain a significant decrease in the number of cases is one of the prior tasks of all health facilities. There are multiple approaches to solve this problem that demonstrate various efficiency levels. Thus, timely prevention along with effective risk assessment procedures can be considered one of the most potent ways to achieve the goal. The given paper revolves around this thesis and revolves around the PICO question that comes from the previous statement:

In patients with long-term conditions and reduced mobility can timely prevention and risk assessment practices reduce the emergence of pressure ulcers and show better results if compare with other methods?

The selection of the method of intervention to improve the situation in the sphere can be justified by the increased importance of additional training for the staff that includes the focus on prevention and knowledge needed for the in-depth investigation of various cases. Other methods might also demonstrate certain efficiency regarding the demands to final results and conditions under which one or another approach is applied. For this reason, there is a need for a comprehensive analysis of the problem to figure out the most potent tool to minimize the number of patients with pressure ulcers.

Methods

The introduction of the given research question preconditions the use of particular research methods to conduct the study and create the theoretical background for the research. Thus, the literature review regarding the problem of pressure ulcers is selected as the primary research method.

The basic criteria for papers inclusion are their relevance and non-experimental character. They should describe statistical data about the prevalence of particular methods, their use in practice, and numerical representation of one or another methods contribution to the minimization of pressure ulcers incidence. Such databases as PubMed, SAGE, and NCBI were used to collect articles for the paper. The following keywords were utilized: pressure ulcers, prevention tools, risk assessment, training, tools. All research works that meet these criteria were discussed in the paper.

Results

The fundament for the research is created by Moore and Cowman (2014) who are interested in the use of structured and systematic pressure ulcer risk assessment tool to reduce the incidence of this health problem. For this reason, their main method was the investigation and comparison of results acquired by health facilities during various projects aimed at the reduction in the number of HAPUs (health acquired pressure ulcers) in patients (Moore & Cowman, 2014). They conclude that risk assessment becomes a potent tool especially if it is followed by the implementation of the newest methods such as innovative surfaces or special beds.

Swafford, Culpepper, and Dunn (2016) also revolve around the same issue. The primary objective of their work is to determine the effectiveness of the HAPU prevention program in an intensive unit (Swafford et al., 2016). They trace the results of this very program and tool that are used in its terms. The authors come to the conclusion that a proactive and collaborative prevention program that rests on additional education for staff and is focused on specific protocols and adherence to them can be a potent approach to improve the situation in the area (Swafford et al., 2016). The advantage of the paper is that it uses data from real projects with high efficiency.

The diversity in methods to treat pressure ulcers contributes to the emergence of multiple research papers. For instance, Walker, Gillespie, Thalib, Higgins, and Whitty (2018) in their paper compare the efficiency of foam dressings in healing pressure injuries to other forms of treatment. They reviewed the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials to analyze data about the given intervention and provide credible results. Thus, they come to the conclusion that foam dressings demonstrate a high efficiency if compare with alternative dressings; however, their combination with the specific surfaces, electric beds, and risk assessment tools might generate even better results (Walker et al., 2018).

Assessing the efficiency of methods used to minimize the incidence of pressure ulcers in different settings, Courvoisier, Righi, Bene, Rae, and Chopard (2018) examine data among patients of average age 85. The goal of this study is to determine the prevalence of preventive measures and modes of treatment. In the course of the research, they assume that the number of patients with HAPU can be significantly reduced if using all prescriptions, providing additional training to nurses, and implementing an efficient risk assessment model (Courvoisier et al. (2018). This approach is considered one of the most effective ones in the modern healthcare environment.

Finally, Han, Kim, Hwang, Lee, and Song (2018) in their paper aim at providing information about preventive care for PU by using predictors and appropriate assessment tools. In the research work, they analyze the existing statistics related to aged people, factors stimulating the emergence of pressure ulcers, and how they can be treated. The authors state that the introduction of in-time care along with efficient risk assessment procedures can significantly improve the results and help people to avoid complications and the further evolution of PU in various conditions (Han et al., 2018).

Discussion

All papers selected for the research prove the idea that prevention supported by risk assessment can be a solution to the problem of pressure ulcers in different settings regardless of their peculiarities. At the same time, the key factor that impacts the efficiency of these approaches is the additional training of health workers to ensure that nurses possess the needed competence to determine the first signs of the emergence of this health issue and prevent its further rise. The given method can be empowered by the introduction of other ways of treatment such as special beds or clothes to achieve better results and eliminate the central roots for the emergence of this problem.

Conclusion

Altogether, the problem of pressure ulcers can be considered one of the most problematic issues of the modern healthcare sector. For this reason, it is critical to introduce an appropriate method to minimize its incidence and attain improved results. Prevention strategies and risk assessment procedures prove their efficiency as they help to prevent the emergence of severe complications and reduce the number of patients who acquire this health problem. These methods can be supported by innovative tools such as specific surfaces, beds, and alerts to provide nurses with new approaches to the provision of care in most complex cases.

References

Bhattacharya, S., & Mishra, R. (2015). Pressure ulcers: Current understanding and newer modalities of treatment. Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery, 48(1), 4-16. Web.

Courvoisier, D., Righi, L., Bene, N., Rae, A., & Chopard, P. (2018). Variation in pressure ulcer prevalence and prevention in nursing homes: A multicenter study. Applied Nursing Research, 42, 45-50. Web.

Han, S., Kim, Y., Hwang, J., Lee, J., & Song, M. (2018). Predictors of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers among older adult inpatients. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27(19), 3780-3786. Web.

Swafford, K., Culpepper, R., & Dunn, C. (2016). Use of a comprehensive program to reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers in an intensive care unit. American Journal of Critical Care, 25(2), 152-155. Web.

Walker, R., Gillespie, B., Thalib, L., Higgins, N., & Whitty, J. (2018). Foam dressings for treating pressure injuries in patients of any age in any care setting: An abridged Cochrane systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 87, 140-147. Web.