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Pressure Ulcer and Pressure Injury

Dramatic image of a wound care clinician applying a silicone foam dressing to patient skin.

Where protection meets prevention.

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.

  • Infographic that reads the estimated annual cost of pressure ulcer care is almost 11 billion dollars.
  • Infographic that reads one full-thickness pressure ulcer can cost up to 70,000 dollars to treat.

The anatomy of pressure ulcer/pressure injury risk.

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

  • Image of a wound care clinician applying a 3M silicone foam sacral dressing, with a callout that reads more than 28 percent of pressure ulcers occur on the sacrum.
  • Image of a wound care clinician applying a 3M silicone foam heel dressing, with a callout that reads approximately 23 percent of pressure ulcers occur on the heel.

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Wound care dressings: an important part of pressure ulcer/pressure injury prevention programs.

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

  • Illustration that shows moisture evaporating from the surface of a silicone foam dressing.

    Ability to manage microclimate

    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.

  • Illustration that shows a hand applying a silicone foam sacral dressing.

    Ease of application and removal

    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.

  • Illustration that shows a silicone foam dressing being lifted so a clinician can assess the skin underneath.

    Ability to access and assess skin

    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.

  • Illustration that shows a patient’s foot with a silicone foam dressing on the heel.

    Correct dressing size for high-risk locations

    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.


Learn from Dr. Heather Hettrick how a grapefruit can help you stage a pressure ulcer/ pressure injury.

Understand pressure injury staging
View Video

Understanding Pressure Injury Staging


Why 3M™ Tegaderm™ Silicone Foam Dressings are an excellent choice as part of your pressure ulcer/pressure injury prevention programs.

Side-by-side comparison of dressing wear time. The 3M Tegaderm Silicone Foam Dressing offers twice the wear time as Mepilex Foam Dressings.

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.
 

  • Significantly longer wear time⁷ plus gentle adhesion
  • Thin, low-profile edge
  • Unique multi-layer design
  • Easy application
REQUEST A FREE SAMPLE

Resources

  • Image of all four Tegaderm Silicone Foam Dressings.

    3M™ Tegaderm™ Silicone Foam Dressings

    An excellent choice for wound management and may help prevent skin damage as part of a comprehensive pressure ulcer/pressure injury prevention program.

  • Nurse applying Tegaderm Silicone Foam Dessings for the heel on a patient.

    3M™ Tegaderm™ Silicone Foam Dressings Heel and Sacral Application Guide

    Learn proper preparation and placement techniques for pressure ulcer/pressure injury management.

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.


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