Pressure Ulcers in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

August 20, 2019

For over 60 years Trulife has been leading the way in medical device innovation, particularly when it comes to pressurecare and pressure injury prevention. We began using medical grade silicone to produce breastcare products to help women recovering from breast cancer. In 1995, we began producing pressure relieving products for the operating theatre and since then we have invested heavily in research and as a result we have diversified our pressurecare product range.

Most recently we have expanded our product range into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with the launch of our Elite Foam Positioners  including the ARDS Prone Pad System ELP200.   The Trulife Elite Foam Positioners range is designed to promote optimal positioning of the patient in the intensive care unit and during surgery. This lightweight range is designed for multi-purpose use, whilst offering stability and comfort.

pressure pads

Pressure Ulcers – A definition

Clinically, a pressure ulcer is defined by the occurrence of a confined destruction of a certain area of the skin and of the underlying tissues due to external pressures that leads to the necrosis of the ischaemic area.

Causes of Pressure Ulcers

Pressure ulcers occur over bony prominences. The most common areas for pressure ulcers include the sacrum, coccyx, heels, and ear.

It has been found that in addition to long periods of hospitalisation, there are many factors that contribute to the occurrence of pressure ulcers, these include:

Without vigilance on behalf of the care team, the implementation of proper procedures and the right pressurecare devices, patients can become vulnerable to pressure ulcers which are a serious threat to their well-being.

 

ICU Pressure Injuries

It is known that patients in the ICU are at a higher risk of developing pressure ulcers by comparison to those in hospitals or in-home care. Decubitus ulcers are a common problem and a recent study reports that they affect at least 10% of patients in acute care, 3% in long-term care and 4% in home care. Unfortunately, the situation for intensive care patients is much more severe and is reported to exceed 28% – this is a problem that needs to be addressed.

This study monitored 210 patients who were hospitalized within a public intensive care unit in Greece over a 12-month period.

The data analysed found that the prevalence of pressure ulcers was 24.3% and the incidence rate found to be 0.02 per patient-day. Interestingly, 67% of the pressure ulcers frequency could be explained by age, length of ICU stay, hemodialysis, and hematocrit as predicting factors which suggests that pressure injuries are indeed more prevalent in older patients. These findings are in line with the conclusions in other studies.

The main finding of the study however revealed that patients with long-lasting hospitalization were at a higher risk of developing pressure ulcers. This suggests that as the length of stay increases, so does the likelihood of pressure ulcers. A study carried out in Saudi Arabia ICU had similar findings that highlighted the length of stay in hospital along with increased age were the most significant predictors of all stages of pressure ulcer development. Additional research in Sweden – where 535 patients were monitored – showed that extended bed rest of intensive care unit patients with declining mobility caused the risk of pressure ulcers to increase.

When it comes to pressure injuries; prevention is definitely better than the cure. Proper care and effective assessment, ongoing education and selecting good quality patient positioners can go a long way.

The Work Continues

It is very encouraging to see more awareness of pressure injuries within the medical industry and researchers are continuing to carry out studies – providing invaluable data that can be used to help improve conditions for patients.

Despite a lot of good work and awareness campaigns such as Stop Pressure Ulcer Day, pressure injuries remain a concern. At Trulife we are committed to tackling this problem by developing the very latest pressure care products for both patients and healthcare systems so that pressure injuries can be eradicated.

Are you or your organisation taking part in Stop Pressure Ulcer Day? We’d love to hear what you are getting up to.

If you are interested in discussing our products in more detail, please don’t hesitate to to get in touch. You can also apply to be a Trulife distributor by completing this short form online.

 

Contact Our Team Today

Do you have a question about our products or services? Our dedicated staff is always here to help. Get in touch and we will revert to you as soon as possible. Thank you.

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