Since being on this placement, we’ve had 2 training sessions on Tissue viability. An area I really love. It’s about preventing pressure areas / ulcers. And if there are any patients with them, it’s about how to manage the sore area and prevent it getting any worse. Stopping it in its tracks.
First, it’s risk assessment! So assessing each patient, dependent on; Mobility, nutrition and continence needs. Anyone that has anything affecting these areas we put a plan into place.
Then skin bundle; Which is a daily/ weekly check that has to be done on the patient, with a lot of tick boxes. Basically to check all of their pressure areas head to toe; head, nose, ears, shoulders, elbows, Natal cleft, Sacrum, Buttocks, hips, spine, knees, ankles, toes, heels.
Regular turning and repositioning; Anyone at risk should be encouraged and educated on repositioning to relieve the pressure from the area they are lying/ sitting on.
Nutrition; Making sure patients are well hydrated and eating a good balanced diet.
At risk? Anyone at risk, then we check their skin daily, reposition regularly 2-4 hours, put on fluid/food charts to ensure they are getting enough in them and add barrier cream to the skin to protect from pressure and moisture lesions.
If a patient was to come in with an ulcer or wound already, then there would be steps in place to monitor it, review it, do all of the above and if it is that bad then it would have a dressing to cover the wound and even packing it with various things! You do NOT want it to get to that stage. Horrible image coming….. Look away now if queasy.