Pressure ulcers are a problem that can affect any patient with limited mobility, and this is the core of this healthcare issue. Pressure ulcers are injuries to the skin and underlying tissues that occur as a result of extended compression of the tissues (Arendts, 2017). Most often, they occur in those areas of the tissue that are located above the bony protrusions. Due to the fact that any patients with reduced mobility are at risk, skin checkups should be a routine part of the nursing care process. In addition to skin lesions, patients can develop infections and suffer from related symptoms such as fever, the appearance of foul smell from an ulcer, hyperthermia, or redness of the surrounding skin.
Evidence Retrieval Process and Summary
The cause of pressure ulcers is not only the compression of the skin between the bone and any hard surface. Other factors that are associated with immobility can increase the vulnerability of the skin to pressure ulcers. It is important that the critical factors are constant pressure and friction. When the skin and subcutaneous tissues are sandwiched between the bone and a hard surface, the pressure can exceed the blood pressure in the thin vessels that deliver oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. Cells experience energy starvation and are damaged, sometimes irreversibly (Denby & Rowlands, 2010). In addition, when a person changes their posture or is moved by a nurse, skin friction on the surface can occur. This problem was chosen as the main topic due to the fact that although it has been researched quite well, pressure ulcers are still one of the critical problems of nursing care. They can lead to sepsis, bone and joint infections, and skin cancer.
The evidence is relevant to the chosen problem due to the fact that it stresses that treatment and prevention of pressure ulcers is a rather difficult task for the nursing staff (Arendts, 2017). This evidence was chosen since it will allow validating the hypothesis that protecting the skin and monitoring its condition upon a patient’s arrival at the unit can effectively prevent pressure ulcers (Denby & Rowlands, 2010). Alternatively, it can help identify them at an early stage before complications occur.
Implications of the Evidence
Evidence suggests that pressure ulcers are easier to prevent than to treat, but this is not always easy to achieve since they can develop with sufficient nursing care. The main way to prevent pressure ulcers is to frequently change the patient’s body position so as not to damage the skin and minimize pressure on the skin in vulnerable areas. Other methods are skincare, regular check-ups, and good nutrition (Fagan, 2015). In addition to these instructions, studies suggest that the process of care should begin at the time the patient appears in the facility due to the fact that the symptoms of the development of the condition may appear before the patient has been taken to the unit. The committee should focus their next research on this problem due to the fact that the issue dramatically affects the well-being of patients but, with due care and attention, the issue can be addressed effectively.
Arendts, G. (2017). How comprehensive is comprehensive enough? Emergency department assessment of older people. Age and Ageing, 46(3), 340-341. Web.
Denby, A., & Rowlands, A. (2010). Stop them at the door: Should a pressure ulcer prevention protocol be implemented in the emergency department? Journal of Wound, Ostomy & Continence Nursing, 37(1), 35-38. Web.
Fagan, M. (2015). Early prevention of pressure ulcers in the emergency department. Seton Hall University DNP Final Projects. 10. Web.