Facility-acquired pressure injuries (also known as pressure ulcers) continue to be a growing healthcare problem.¹ Not only can they lead to longer hospital stays and higher rates of readmission, but they can contribute to greater patient pain and suffering – and in some cases, premature mortality.² In addition, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) now consider Stage III and IV pressure ulcers acquired during hospitalization to be preventable. Meaning they no longer reimburse for pressure ulcer and pressure injury care unless the condition is present on admission.
Anatomical sites that overlay a bony prominence, such as the heel and sacrum, account for more than half of all pressure ulcers and pressure injuries³ because they’re most vulnerable to forces like pressure, friction and shear. Other common locations for pressure ulcers and pressure injuries are the ischium, ankle, elbow and hip.⁴
As part of a comprehensive pressure injury prevention plan, the use of polyurethane foam dressings to protect bony prominences from friction and shear should be considered to help decrease the risk of pressure ulcer and pressure injury development.³
When selecting a dressing, there are several ideal properties to consider – including the following from the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers: Clinical Practice Guidelines document.³
Warm, moist skin is more vulnerable to the damaging effects of pressure and shear, which are recognized risk factors for pressure ulcer formation.⁶
Look for a dressing with properties that reduce the amount of moisture trapped at the skin’s surface.
Applying and removing dressings from locations such as the heel and sacrum can be challenging, often requiring assistance to properly position the patient.
Look for a dressing designed to make application easier, which in turn can help lead to fewer dressing failures and fewer unnecessary dressing changes.
Body areas at high risk for pressure ulcers should be inspected often to detect early signs of pressure damage.
Look for a dressing that can be lifted and re-adhered frequently for assessment without damaging the skin.
Anatomical sites that overlay a bony prominence, such as the heel and sacrum, account for more than half of all pressure ulcers³ due to their vulnerability to pressure, friction and shear.
Look for a dressing that is specifically designed for these high-risk locations and available in sizes to accommodate a wide range of body types.
Featuring 3M’s innovative adhesive technology, 3M™ Tegaderm™ Silicone Foam Dressings offer significantly longer wear time than the leading competitive silicone foam dressing⁷ while being gentle to the skin.
An excellent choice for wound management and may help prevent skin damage as part of a comprehensive pressure ulcer/pressure injury prevention program.
¹Zaratkiewicz, S., Whitney, J. D., Lowe, J. R., Taylor, S., O'Donnell, F., & Minton-Foltz, P. (2010). Development and Implementation of a Hospital-Acquired Pressure Ulcer Incidence Tracking System and Algorithm. Journal for Healthcare Quality, 32(6), 44-51.
²Health Research & Educational Trust (2016, January). Hospital Acquired Pressure Ulcers (HAPU) Change Package: 2016 Update. Chicago, IL: Health Research & Educational Trust. Accessed at www.hret-hen.org.
³National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel and Pan Pacific Pressure Injury Alliance. Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers: Clinical Practice Guideline. Emily Haesler (Ed.). Cambridge Media: Osborne Park, Western Australia; 2014.
⁴Dassen T, Tannen A, Lahmann N. Pressure ulcer, the scale of the problem. In: Romanelli M (ed). Science and practice of pressure ulcer management. London: Springer-Verlag, 2006. P 1-6.
⁵VanGuilder, C., MacFarlane, G. D., & Meyer, S. (2008). Results of Nine International Pressure Ulcer Prevalence Surveys: 1989 to 2005. Ostomy Wound Management, 54(2).
⁶World Union of Wound Healing Societies (WUWHS) Consensus Document. Role of dressings in pressure ulcer prevention. Wounds International, 2016.
⁷4x4 and 6x6 dressings, based on In vivo studies EM-13977 and EM-13978. 3M data on file.
⁸3M data on file. EM-13978.